The Friday before Christmas was a day filled with weeding. We didn't have many patrons coming through. Many of my tasks required contacting other organizations and I decided they could wait until after the holidays. So I weeded. And in doing so, I ran across a book I had completely forgotten about. A book that was one of my favorites in the fifth grade or so. A book I read many a time.
Secrets of the Shopping Mall by Richard Peck. It's about two kids who somehow end up living in a mall at night and the mannequins come to life. Real quality literature, I know. But it was one of my favorites.
A little farther down the shelf, I ran into another favorite of mine. Sister of the Quints by Stella Pevsner. I got that one from some sort of book-of-the-month club. It's about, well, a sister of a set of quintuplets.
Seeing those two books brought back all kinds of memories and I started thinking about other little-known books that I read over and over again as a kid. Here's what I came up with:
Tough Luck Karen by Joanna Hurwitz. Nothing seems to go right for Karen. But by the end of the story she's able to turn it around. I don't even remember much about the plot, just that Karen is a great character.
Sugar Isn't Everything by Willo Davis Roberts. Amy's been feeling pretty terrible lately. She has no energy, she's always ravenous and thirsty, and she hasn't grown at all since last year. One day she collapses in the bathroom and she's diagnosed with diabetes. She has to learn how to take care of herself and deal with her own anger. Um. I don't have diabetes. I just loved this book.
Christopher Pike books. Man I loved them so. So much, in fact, that I belonged to a Christopher Pike fan email list. I was a big fan of his adult books The Season of Passage and The Listeners and Sati kind of changed my whole view of religion. Favorites of his teen books included The Midnight Club, The Last Vampire, and The Tachyon Web.
I found a book in my school library in 7th grade that was the first serious book (that I remember) that really made me think. It was Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien. A nuclear holocaust leaves one girl all alone in her valley. When a man shows up wearing a radiation suit, she's relieved at first, until she realizes that he's a bad guy and she has to figure out how to escape.
It's so funny to me the seemingly random books that I latched on to. I was a voracious reader, but I was re-reading a lot of the time. I'd pick a book from my bookshelf at random to read on the school bus or while waiting for my flute lesson. I guess I should also tell you that in the 8th grade I watched the movie Newsies over and over until I could recite all the lines from heart even without the movie playing.