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Little Willow [userpic]

Juvenile Series of the 80s and 90s

November 25th, 2006 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: nostalgic
Current Song: Justice score music

My recent writings regarding The Baby-Sitters Club have made me nostalgic for the many series I read and collected when I was in elementary school.

When I was little, I would read almost everything I could get my hands on. I loved lengthy books and classics most of all, especially The NeverEnding Story and the Anne of Green Gables octet. I liked re-reading my favorite books, both those that I owned and those which I checked out of the library repeatedly, but I also wanted to read new stories. (Note: By "new," I simply mean something that I hadn't read yet. It didn't matter if it came out in 1850 or 1950. If it sounded interesting, I would read it.)

My town had one library, and I loved it there. It didn't always have the latest releases, but I always tried to find some books I hadn't read yet. The library didn't have a limit on the number of books a patron could check out, so I would get as many as I could carry. I loved looking through the racks of classics and plays, but I didn't want to read books with, ahem, adult situations, so I stayed away from some sub-genres of adult fiction. I read every single book in the children's department that interested me. The teen section didn't really exist yet. It consisted mostly of Sweet Valley High books and occupied a few spinning racks which were adjacent to those holding the juvenile series.

In other words, I loved lengthy books and classics most of all (Exhibit A: The NeverEnding Story) but my insatiable hunger for books meant I read a lot of contemporary books and series too. Though they were not all nearly as challenging and phenomenal as I wished them to be, they fed that hunger. Give me a few series books and I'd be done in a matter of hours. If we had a long drive somewhere, I would have to bring along at least three or four books.

That all being said, here is a partial list of the series I read that were published in the 80s and early 90s.

Numbered series for ages 7 and up
The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin
Junior High by Kate Kenyon
Sweet Valley Twins and Friends by Francine Pascal
Choose Your Own Adventure
Girl Talk by L.E. Blair
Pen Pals by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
Friends 4-Ever by Deirdre Corey
The Gymnasts by Elizabeth Levy
The Party Line by Carrie Austen
Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
Peanut Butter and Jelly by Dorothy Haas

Numbered series for ages 12 and up
Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal
The Girls of Canby Hall by Emily Chase
Merivale Mall by Jana Ellis
Fear Street by R.L. Stine
Nightmare Hall by Diane Hoh

Unnumbered series for ages 7 and up
Alice McKinley books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Taffy Sinclair books by Betsy Haynes
Collette Murphy books by Colleen O'Shaughnessy McKenna
Encyclopedia Brown books by Donald J. Sobol
Matthew Martin books by Paula Danziger

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Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2006 07:37 pm (UTC)

I do not know, but I will look that up later!

There are three original Pippi books that I know of, all fun.

Did you read the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books? FANTASTIC.

Posted by: ESG (ebess_felix)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2006 07:40 pm (UTC)

I do not know of this Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, but just the name makes me want to read.

Also - did Madeleine L'Engle write any series? I know she wrote many children's books, but I don't recall if any were connected. My land, I love her.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC)

Read them now. Right now. Stop reading this message and --

Are you back? Oh, good. Did you like them? :)

There are four books in the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle sequence by Betty MacDonald, with each book containing at least half a dozen stories. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is a fun lady who comes to homes to help "cure" kids of bad habits and poor manners. Think of a grandmotherly Mary Poppins who gets you to eat your vegetables or teaches you not to call your brother names. SHE ROCKS. (For the record, I think she's approximately 10000000 times cooler than MP, but I make the comparison that people can easily 'get' it.)

Yes, Ms. L'engle rocked the continuations. There are four books for Meg and company, then a bunch for the Austins, then...

Posted by: ESG (ebess_felix)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC)

Okay, okay, I'm requesting them from the library right now. She sounds kind of like the anti Amelia Bedelia.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2006 08:06 pm (UTC)

She's fantastic. Did I mention that she ROCKS?

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