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A Walk Through My Junior & Senior High Bookshelf

So I went home for Christmas this year, for the first time since I moved west in 2014. My mom gave me a task over the course of this visit – clean out my things at home, and separate the things that I will want from the things I am willing to part with. And, to be totally honest, this mostly means going through all my books from my school years, since that’s most of what’s left at home.

And to be totally honest, I was surprised with some of the books I came across while I sorted. I’d completely forgotten about a lot of them. I was also surprised at what was around for YA fiction at that time, before we got the amazing variety and volume we get these days. So I wanted to share some of the favourites and prominent authors I was reading during my teen years (roughly 2004-2010).

Everything Meg Cabot wrote until about 2008

And that’s not a joke. I’ve got a whole bunch of them. When I was in jr. high, Meg Cabot was the YA author. Her forum boards were incredible, and had so many wonderful people on them. I’ve been glancing few a few of these, and while I probably won’t go back and read them again, there are lots of wonderful memories in the pages.

So… Are you keeping them?
No, none of them. They’ll stay as part of my teen years.

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Cloning Miranda by Carol Matas

I had completely forgotten about these books. This were my first sci-fi-y books as a kid, and I remember bringing this everywhere with me. I was a bit younger reading these, but they remained on my shelf as I got older.

So… Are you keeping them?
The first one for sure, despite how strange it seems as an adult. I’m not as sure about the later two books.

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The Riddles of Epsilon by Christine Morton-Shaw

I remember this book being freaky, though I couldn’t tell you the plot anymore. It’s been years since I read it. But I do remember loving it, and thinking it was super creative.

So… Are you keeping it?
Yes. I loved this in high school, and I’m going to hand onto it and reread it.

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The Dream of the Stone by Christina Askounis

I remember loving this book, but I only have a few vague memories now of what it was even about. I think there’s something about dream travel, maybe?

So… Are you going to keep it?
Yes. At least long enough to reread it. If it’s still good, I’ll hang onto it.

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Wax Wishes by Bill Murphy and Greg Woodford

This book was the first and only book we read in the book club we tried to start in my high school. It’s actually a book local to where I grew up – I even did theatre with Woodford’s daughters. I can’t remember if I liked it or not or what the group’s verdict was on the whole thing (or if we even met to discuss it, honestly).

So… Are you going to keep it?
Yes. It’s signed, and it’s something from home, so it’s going to make the journey west with me. And I’d like to try reading it again.

A variety of Francesca Lia Block books

I had completely forgotten about Francesca Lia Block to be honest. She was my introduction to the idea that words could be beautiful and tell a story at the same time. I had read most of her stuff (that I could get my hands on) when I was in school.

So… Are you going to keep them?
Wasteland, yes. Ecstasia, maybe, leaning towards yes. Primavera, no.

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Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Bloom and all the sequels

Ah, Judy Bloom, who basically taught me everything I needed to know about being preteen. Most of her books have been passed on by this point, but these stuck around, because they’re just so fun.

So… Are you going to keep them?
The first one for sure, but I’m undecided on the rest, since they’re more tokens than something I’ll actually read again. We’ll see though.

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His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

I loved these books when I was in junior high. Even the chaotic controversy surrounding them for a while didn’t deter me. They’re such fun stories, regardless, and I really want to reread them, since I don’t remember a lot of what happens.

So… Are you going to keep them?
Yes, all three.

A variety of books by Caroline B. Cooney

This was another author I flew through when I was in junior high. A friend introduced me to her, and I fell in love so fast. I’ve read a number of her books, but these are the ones that still remain amongst the collection at my childhood home.

So… Are you going to keep them?
I think I’m going to keep the Losing Christina books. I’m undecided on the Face on the Milk Carton – if I do, it’ll just be the first one. I’m not going to keep The Girl Who Invented Romance, though.


Were these books gracing anyone else’s shelves? What books did you read while in junior high and high school (just incase, because there are so many differences in school systems, junior high is grades 7-9, high school 10-12)?

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