Last weekend I went to the YA A-Z conference in Austin, TX, and was also able to go to the last day of the TLA (Texas Library Association) event, where I got a few books! It was a lot of fun, and I decided to make an IMM vlog to share the books I picked up.
In my previous post I mentioned the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine, and now I'd like to share with you all some important books I remember from my childhood! First I have pictures of the covers (I tried to find the covers of the copy I owned, but couldn't find it for all of them), and then I'll talk more about the books below.
Animorphs by K.A. Applegate
This series, about five kids who received the ability to transform into animals after an alien landed on their planet to warn them about an undergoing invasion on Earth, was one of my favorites! I remember all of the characters pretty clearly, and remember how sad I was when Tobias was stuck as a hawk. (Luckily he was given the ability to morph back again! Sorry if gave away a spoiler ... ;) The bad aliens, the Yeerks, actually reminded me a lot of the aliens in Stephenie Meyer's The Host, in that they went into of people's brains and took over their minds. I was always so excited when a new Animorphs book came out! A TV show was eventually created from the books, and it was pretty good.
Sweet Valley Twins by Francine Pascal
I started reading Sweet Valley Kids in kindergarten, and eventually moved onto Sweet Valley Twins (where Jessica and Elizabeth are in sixth grade) when I was in second grade. I loved these books! Jessica was always my favorite, because she was the "fun twin" and always creating trouble. I also loved how she was in a club -- the Unicorn Club -- and I started my own Unicorn Club with my friends in school. I never got into Sweet Valley High (the series was kind of dated when I was old enough to read it), but I did enjoy the Sweet Valley Senior Year books, which were more recent.
In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
This was the book that got me started on loving vampire books! During sixth grade circle time my English teacher sat us down to read it out loud to us, and I positively loved it. I immediately bought the book and finished reading it on my own. What I found really cool was that Amelia was around twelve years old when this book was published.
The Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis
These books were a huge part of my childhood. I think I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in second grade, and then went on to read the rest of the series. This series started my playing TONS of make-believe games revolving around the world of Narnia! My best friend and I used to pretend our closets transported us into other worlds, and that we needed to collect "keys" from each closet that would eventually bring us to Narnia. (We walked around with all of the "keys," even wearing them! Once we put hangers on our heads.) Then once we had the keys we could unlock the back door, which led into my backyard AKA Narnia. Then we would find sticks to use as swords to fight off the dragons. It was all really fun! :)
The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
I read this in fourth grade (I think!) and it's the book that first got me fascinated in Ancient Egypt. In this book the kids find an Egyptian artifact that connects them to Ancient Egypt. After reading it I searched my house for artifacts. The closest I came to finding them was in some of my great-grandmother's jewelry, which I pretended was Egyptian. I created an "Egypt Shrine" and convinced my younger brother to play the Egypt Game as well!
Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
The first time I read Goosebumps was in first grade when I was over my best friend's house. She owned the first book in the series, Welcome to Dead House, and the two of us sat on her bed and read the whole book in one sitting. We would read the pages and then tap each other on the shoulder when we were finished so we knew when we were ready to turn them. My favorite in the series was Let's Get Invisible -- I read it five times! I also loved Say Cheese and Die. (I talked to RL Stine at Book Expo last year, and that's his personal favorite of all of them.) I also loved the Choose Your Own Adventure ones, and would play the choose your own adventure game with my friend, where we would read together and choose what adventure to take.
Star Wars Junior Jedi Knights by Nancy Ann Richardson
When the original Star Wars movies were re-released onto the big screen, I became absolutely obsessed with them. I have a HUGE action figure collection (which is currently in storage), a large Millenium Falcon, was Princess Leia for Halloween, and the list goes on! I also broke my ankle in fourth grade, and drew the Star Wars logo all over the cast in permanent marker. Of course I wanted more Star Wars, and I discovered the Junior Jedi Knights series! Reading these made me wish I could go to Jedi Academy :)
The 21 Balloons by Willian Pene Dubois
This is the book that got me into utopian/dystopian novels. I read it in third grade, and loved it! The professor decides to go on a hot air balloon trip around the world, and lands on the mysterious island of Krakatoa. This island is a utopian society! I loved seeing the way the island worked (I remember thinking the technology the families had was really cool), and it ended with a volcanic eruption, which of course I enjoyed.
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
I loved these books, and always thought that Laura Ingalls Wilder lived such a cool life! Okay, in reality living in the 1800's where they had no internet would probably be torturously boring since I've grown up with it, but in the books she always had lots of fun adventures.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Milo goes on an adventure through a magical tollbooth and ends up in a fantasy world! I loved this book, but I have to admit that I remember the movie more clearly because I watched it so many times. He starts off in the doldrums, goes into the two kingdoms (one based on writing and the other on math), and goes up the mountain to save the princesses Rhyme and Reason from the castle in the air! He has lots of roadblocks on his way to saving them, and must complete tasks in order to continue. Really fun book!
Of course I read TONS more books as a kid (I was a constant reader. It's something that never changed in my life!) but those are the main ones I remember. Plus, I wouldn't want to bore you with a longer list!