Children’s book series I love.

A few days ago Time compiled a wonderful  list of old book series for kids. Lately the online magazine and I haven’t been on the same wavelength with regard to their lists, but this I found interesting. (See the full list here) I found that I’d read at least one book for six out of ten series they enumerated (The Boxcar Children! The BSC! What fine memories.:)). What I had not read were Little House, Biggles, The Hardy Boys, and, I’m embarrassed to say, Nancy Drew (me wonders what Jessica Zafra, a huge fan, would say about this).

It’s not like I’d never heard of these series before (Oh, wait, that’s with the exception of Biggles. What is that about?). I’m pretty sure I saw copies of Little House and The Hardy Boys at our grade school’s book shelf, but I always thought The Hardy Boys was for guys and Little House was one of those books I always saved for later–to the point that I never got to read it. As for Nancy Drew, I guess I just never got acquainted with the series because I was too busy enjoying others (like Ramona and Sweet Valley). That’s a bit sad, but it’s not such a great loss. After all, if not for two of the series on Time’s list (aforementioned), I would never have become a writer.

***

If you got the hint, the two series are Ramona and Sweet Valley.

I think I started reading Ramona in second grade, when we started ordering a lot of books from Scholastic, Inc. I can’t remember if my mom picked it out or I did (I wish I knew), but I love every book I ever read. (My favorite is Ramona and Her Father:)) I believe Beverly Cleary’s books are what encouraged me to write. I remember thinking in my little girl’s head back then, someday, I’m gonna write books for children just like Beverly, so I can make others happy the way she made me happy. I credit her with my passion.

In the latter part of my cringeworthy elementary school experience, I progressed from Ramona to Elizabeth and Jessica in Francine Pascal’s SVH, which had bigger vocabulary words and catered to those undergoing puberty. The impact of the series on my bashful, naive self was strong since I could relate to Elizabeth’s woes. I found her to be more appealing than Jessica, who was considerably shallow, because of our blinding similarities: the seriousness. the academic perseverance. the passion for writing.. Years later I realize I seem to be following in her footsteps, what with the decision to major in journalism… However, we were also different in some ways, like how she always has an admirer (I envy.. Kidding.), and how she can be so driven by her dreams.. But more than these little things that bound me to the series, what I treasure about it is how it made me write again. Don’t get me wrong, I never stopped writing since the day I got my first diary (around the same time I began reading Ramona), but some time in sixth grade, trivial girlhood adventures distracted me and when trials came, I was dumbfounded and I forgot about my foolproof way of relieving my stress. Enter SVH (SVH Senior Year was more influential than the standard SVH series), and voila, my relationship with pen and paper blossomed once again. I credit the writers of SVH (because I think there are a lot of writers of SVH, is that correct?) with refueling my desire to write–with keeping me on the write track (citation: onthewritetrack is an acquaintance’s blog).

I guess I’m just overcome with memories. Thank you Time. You always have something interesting for subscribers like me.

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