This is middle schoolish age favorites (not listed: Sweet Valley Twins and Nancy Drew)
Island of the Blue Dolphins (Scott O’Dell) Holy shit did I want to make a cormorant skirt. Karana is a badaasssss.
Silver (Norma Fox Mazer) Poor kid gets to hang out with rich kids and sees that the grass is not always greener. And also please get me some silver earrings stat.
Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade (Barthe DeClements) Reading about fifth grade girl politics is the best. Unless you are living them in real life, then it’s just commiseration.
The Girl with the Silver Eyes (Willo Davis Roberts) Ok, yes, it’s like Thalidomide but instead of physical deformities, the babies got cool powers. I love this book so hard. Was this my first science-fiction read? Maybe…
Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself (Judy Blume) I’ve always been sort of obsessed with the 1940’s/50’s, and the theater/performing. And also Nazi Germany. So this was pretty great.
Anything with diseases:
Six Months to Live (Lurlene McDaniel) She gets leukemia. In the second book, her bestie with leukemia dies and her ashes are in a matchbox and omg sad.
Deenie (Judy Blume) They thought I had scoliosis once, but it was just one side of my back was more muscular than the other because of swim team. Go figure.
13 is Too Young to Die (Isaacsen Bright) All I remember is that she has lupus. And I was sure I had lupus for a hot second.
There was another one about a girl who befriends twins, one of whom has given a kidney to the other one.
Reader discussion: What were your favorite books as a kid?