Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Reading List Throwback 1980s

Today is Read Across America Day! Children across the nation will exchange every day school clothes for pjs, homework for stuffies, and celebrate all things Dr. Seuss. I will be plugging away at the pile of paperwork on my desk while being a tad bit jealous youngsters are making a whole day of reading.

Why doesn't the adult working world honor Read Across America Day? What kind of message are we sending children?!? I'm making a stand for cozying up and committing a few hours to reading in lieu of working. This concept could really take off if we all stand behind it! Reading days, like today, always take me back to my tween reading days when my love affair with books began. What I would give to get my hands on copies of my most loved children's books.

If you are a child of the 80s, then you can probably guess the book series I obsessively read.  Let's see if any of these ring a bell…

The Babysitters Club was my all time favorite. I know somewhere there is a rubbermaid container filled with Babysitters books. You never know when you might decide to re-read a favorite childhood series! Or maybe this is just basic hoarding :) If we learned nothing else from BSC, then we should at least have learned the basics of entreprenuership and networking. Honestly, who didn't create a babysitting club back in the day? Parents, I think we need to revive these books! We need to relight the entrepreneurial spirit and get some babysitting clubs started in our neighborhoods! Can you say, date night?

Sweet Valley Twins. I'd like to say I learned something substantial from this series. However, the only thing I walked away with a better understanding of was how to be fashionable in the 80s. I also learned girls are mean. Boys like extroverts better than introverts. Cheerleaders are the popular girls. Ok, mostly stereotypes are true. Hey, everybody needs a little fluff, even 12 year olds!

If I remember correctly, Sweet Valley Twins and especially Sweet Valley High were a risqué series in my small Midwestern town. I would guess because it contained things like boyfriends and gossip! Oh my! I believe some of the librarians wouldn't let you check out these books unless you were a certain age. The rebellious children purchased them at the corner store with their paper route money. 
*high fives to them*

Choose Your Own Adventure books anyone? Was there ever a winning situation with these books. I'm pretty sure I always ended up cornered by the bad guys about to be killed. My brother who probably cheated his way through the book allegedly ended up finding the hidden treasure and becoming the ruler of the new society he discovered. 

Nancy Drew Files. Who didn't love Nancy Drew? She hung around for a good 100 years or so in some format. Nancy Drew was subliminally convincing us all to be feminists. No wonder I loved those books! What I wouldn't give to get my hands on a copy of a Nancy Drew Files.  Certainly  Ebay would have a copy. I want to know if the series is as great as I remember.

Two words: Beverly Cleary. In my experience, you had to know someone who knew someone to get your hands on a copy of anything written by Beverly Cleary. Ramona, Henry Huggins, Ribsy. Everybody wanted to read Ramona and now kids aren't the least bit interested. 

It really is no wonder Generation X-ers are so smart! We had some great books. And we didn't have the distractions of technology yet. Hashtag blessed. 

What do you think? Were these the books you were reading growing up? What were your favorites? Have you re-read any as an adult?


  1. Oh, gosh! I read ALL of those Babysitter's Club books as a kid! LOVED them. My other big ones were Boxcar Children and Goosebumps! :)

  2. I've started collecting the Babysitter's Club books for my daughter. I never got into Sweet Valley though. We did read a lot of RL Stine's Fear Street though. I really need to see if my parents still have any of them.

  3. I wish I had all my BBC books - I think my youngest would love them! I did SVH a little bit, but not many. I was a total Nancy Drew fanatic, and have often thought of being able to go back and read them all now. Maybe I will!