Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Books? Favorite Not-Super-Popular Book Series

What Books? Favorite Not-Super-Popular Book Series

I've decided to start a new feature called "What Books?" I have so many book memories from my childhood. Different books touched me in different ways and had came to me at important times. I plan on running this feature from time to time - maybe twice a month? - and feature books that I love(d) for different reasons.

Some topics I've thought of:
1. The first book that really turned you into a reader
2. Books you didn't like at first but now love
3. Favorite books you read in high school English
4. Favorite series from elementary school

Things like that.

Right now, a lot of the topics and books that come to mind feature books that I liked when I was in elementary and middle school more than books I liked in high school and later. So there might be more of a middle-grade focus.

Please feel free to contribute your own favorite books in the comments or post similarly on your blog and link to this. If people like this feature as it gets going, I think it might be a fun meme.

Today's edition:

I think that every American girl in her late 20s or early 30s probably read a few Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley Kids/Twins/High books. I certainly read loads of them. But there were lots of other series out there that kids read and enjoyed. Here are two of those series that I particularly loved:

Sleepover Friends by Susan Saunders

This was a series that ran about 40 books around 1989 and 1990. As I'm writing this, I realize that my memory about the series is a little fuzzy. The series was about a group of four girls, I think they were in 5th grade, who had sleepovers every week. The books were about their sleepovers and their friendship at school and throughout life.

The Gymnasts by Elizabeth Levy

I am a huge gymnastics fan. I took lessons for years, but only truly excel as a spectator. I've always had too great a sense of what might hurt me to truly be decent at gymnastics. But I could live vicariously through this series. The Gymnasts was a series of 20 books published between 1988 and 1991. The girls were a group of 5th and 6th grade gymnasts who lived in Denver, Colorado. For the most part, they weren't super-good, but they worked hard at gymnastics, had a lot of fun, and were best friends.

What are some series (not the really popular ones, whichever they were when you were a kid) that you really liked?


  1. Love this post! My favourite underrated series would have to have been Betsey, Tacy & Tib and the Phantom Rider series about Ghost horses. I loved both of them! :D

  2. Yes!!! I loved the Sleepover Friends books!! And did you ever read the Camp Sunnyside Friends books? I loved that series and I think it was probably out around the same time.

  3. I absolutely loved --and still do--the Nancy Drew series. Even though it's very unrealistic and cliche at time, I loved how strong Nancy was and how at the end of each book she could always solve the mystery.
    The book that got me into reading was probably the Tale of Desperado. My fourth grade teacher read that with so much energy and enthusiasm that I ultimately loved reading afterwards.
    And, ooh, I also used to love reading Mary Kate & Ashley books. The books were actually really cheesy, but they focused on mysteries --unlike the movies which focus on boys, boys, and boys.

  4. Hmm...well number one for me was The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. While people may have heard of it because of the animated movie, not many people have actually read it. That is one of the first books that actually got me into fantasy.
    As for kiddie series there was this series of books out called Silver Blades that I loved. It was about girls in a figure skate club. I think there was about fifteen to twenty books in it.
    Another is the Thouroughbred series. Obviously it was about a girl whose family was in the horse business and loved horses. The series eventually moved onto another girl as she grew up and then another as the other girl grew up and so on. I think eventually there were about seventy something books in the series and it went through about four to five girls so it covered a lot of years.

  5. I liked a lot of traditional English school stories, of the sort that were pretty much on their way out by the time I was old enough to read them. There was the Chalet School, which I mentioned on the Hop, and a series called Trebizon set in the (then) modern day in Cornwall.

  6. I used to be in love with the Little House on the Prarie books! I swear I spent my entire childhood reading those. :)

  7. I second the Little House on the Prairie books. I had completely forgotten about Sleepover Friends until I read your post! I also really liked the Time Warp Trio and the Immortals series by Tamora Pierce.

    Sniffly Kitty

  8. Love this post! I used to be crazy about the Boxcar Children series. Good times.. :)

  9. I loved the Bobbsey Twins, I loved the Sweet Valley high books. I loved Anne of Green Gables series. I loved the Anastasia books 'cause, you know, my name is anastacia.

  10. Thanks for stopping by BBOB this weekend! I'm a new follower. And you know what? I think I remember the gymnastics series in this post!

    I really liked the Mindwarps series by Chris Archer and the Replica series by Marilyn Kaye. Those came out around the same time, I think!

  11. I found this meme through your most recent post about it, and I decided to check out some of your older posts, too. I realize that I'm way late on discovering this, but I really wanted to comment on this one, because I loved The Gymnasts series when I was kid! I'm super-excited that another blogger did, too. Yay!


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