Top 10 Old-School YA Favorites

Top Ten Old-School YA FavoritesTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature from The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are getting nostalgic and featuring our favorite children/teen books that we want to revisit. I was a YA before YA was the big thing that it is today. But, with authors such as S.E. Hinton, Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary and Lois Duncan we managed just fine with reading material in the 80s! Plus, I supplemented my teen reading with horror from Stephen King, romance novels, celebrity memoirs and fiction bestsellers. My mom didn’t censor my reading at all so I read everything I could get my hands on.

I don’t know if I want to revisit these old-school YA favorites exactly, preferring to keep my memories intact. This is what I was reading (and re-reading) back in the day:

1. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg – I really wanted to spend the night at the museum like the kids did in this book!

2. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett – I found this book so magical!

3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – Definitely a childhood favorite and I enjoyed rereading it with my child.

4. Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene – I still have my copy of The Clue in the Diary! Sweet Valley High and The Babysitter’s Club were after my time but I devoured Nancy Drew.

5. Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? by Judy Blume – And Deenie, Blubber, Then Again, Maybe I Won’t and Forever. YA Pioneer Blume’s coming-of-age books were a big part of my pre-teen years.

6. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – And Tex, Rumble Fish, and That Was Then, This is Now. I loved these books (and the movies as well) I recently rewatched The Outsiders with my teenager since they were reading the book at school.

7. Summer of Fear by Lois Duncan – And Killing Mr. Griffin, and I Know What You Did Last Summer. I loved horror as a teen and though my interests changed I still have fond memories of these books. If I were going to re-read any books from this list it would be these.

8. The Dollanganger series by V. C. Andrews – This series was dark and addictive and my ratty paperback was passed on from friend to friend. The Twilight of its day? I couldn’t bring myself to watch the Lifetime movie.

9. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous – This “banned book week” classic was dark and compelling stuff for naive, pre-teen me. Back then I thought it was a real teenager’s diary, and felt so used many years later to find out it was fake.

10. Carrie by Stephen King – And Salem’s Lot, The Shining, and Firestarter. Once I started reading Stephen King in my early teens there was no going back to YA and I started experimenting more with adult books. (Until I had a child of my own and rediscovered YA with her!)

What childhood/teen books would you like to revisit?


22 thoughts on “Top 10 Old-School YA Favorites

  1. I’ve read bits and pieces of The Secret Garden and Little Women, but I don’t think I’ve ever read them through – I’d like to read those, Judy Blume, The Outsiders and Flowers for Algernon at some point, some day! R x

    Rachel (Confessions of a Book Geek) recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday – Books From My Childhood I’d Love to Revisit
    1. Lucy says:

      The Outsiders seems too hold up pretty well. I know my kid enjoyed reading it for school!

  2. I didn’t do Top 10 Tuesday this week because pretty much all I could come up with was Judy Blume books 🙂 I remember being so confused by Go Ask Alice and thinking it was real, but knowing that it wasn’t and just being freaked out by it in general. Great choices!

    Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages recently posted: New York City Teen Author Festival 2015
    1. Lucy says:

      I know what you mean- I was all about Judy Blume too. Go Ask Alice I guess is supposed to be read as a cautionary tale- I couldn’t put it down!

  3. Flowers in the Attic! Wow, haven’t thought of those books in a long time. They were so taboo and addictive, right? I don’t think I ever watched the movie either:-)

    Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted: Interview with Daryl Gregory, Author of HARRISON SQUARED + Giveaway!
    1. Lucy says:

      Yup, Flowers in the Attic was definitely taboo and addictive. It’s neat that it has a new audience thanks to the movie.

  4. sherri says:

    Those are ALL my favorites!! Especially early(when she was alive) V.C. Andrews, Judy Blume, and hardcover Nancy Drews

    sherri recently posted: Golden State book review
    1. Lucy says:

      Awesome! Yes, early V.C. Andrews definitely. I think they are still cranking out books under that name!

  5. Lucy says:

    My best friend always goes on about FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC – I never read that or the Lois Duncan books but I bet my YA self would have loved them. My TTT

    1. Lucy says:

      Flowers in the Attic is something else! Those Lois Duncan books were pretty dark and scary for young me. (They kill their high school teacher!)

  6. Lupdilup says:

    This is perfect Lucy! I’m always looking for YA literature for my girl (she’s 12) and I don’t know much b/c all the books I read at that age were in Spanish. She has already read/listened (hehe) to some of this, but there’s quite a few new-to-me in that list. She was just asking me a few days ago what she should read next 🙂
    Thank you!

    1. Lucy says:

      Ooh I love that you’re daughter is an audio fan too 🙂 At twelve my kid liked Meg Cabot’s Mediator series, Hunger Games, Divergent, Twilight saga, The Giver, and from this list she’s read The Outsider’s, Little Women, and Flowers in the Attic. I’d love to hear what your daughter thinks if she tries any of these out!

  7. I read Flowers in the Attic when I was in high school too. I wonder what I would think of it now.

    Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook recently posted: Top Ten Books I WISH I Could Read Again for the First Time
    1. Lucy says:

      I know, right? I think it wouldn’t be the same.

  8. Chachic says:

    How could I have missed Little Women in my own post! I love reading that as a child.

    1. Lucy says:

      You have books on your list I missed too. It’s hard to remember since we were kids and all 🙂 It would be fun to revisit Little Women. (I always think of Friends’ Joey “How little are they? I mean, are they, like, scary little?”)

  9. Holly Kerr says:

    I’ve got Blume, Nancy Drew, the Outsiders – I’ve read most of your list and love them all!!

    1. Lucy says:

      We didn’t have the huge YA category that exists today but there were some good ones, right?!

  10. Lori says:

    We have several in common! I never read Flowers in the Attic when I was younger. Maybe I should change that. I have Go Ask Alice on my shelf now.

    1. Lucy says:

      Flowers in the Attic and Go Ask Alice are so scandalous and delicious to read when you’re a kid.. I’m sure it would be a very different experience reading them through an adult lens.

  11. Love your list, Lucy! I’d have to say my favorites from this list would be The Secret Garden, The Mixed Up Files, and Nancy Drew. I actually had that exact copy of Are You There God…Little Women is another wonderful classic. I love the variety of books you have for your list. 🙂

  12. I never read Flowers in the Attic but I read other VC Andrews. Those books were messed up.

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