Sunday, 4 September 2016

BOOKS FROM MY CHILDHOOD GUEST POST BY STEPHANIE FARIS + GIVEAWAY!

Kids may not believe it, but children’s authors were once children ourselves. Most of us started reading as soon as we could, discovering a love for books that would carry us well into adulthood. I was an avid reader from a young age, often turning to books the way today’s kids turn to their smartphones or iPads. 


While I can’t remember very many of my earlier books, here are some books that made a lasting impact on me.

The Rescuers (Little Golden Book)


I think everyone my age grew up on Little Golden Books. I know I read quite a few of them but one I distinctly remember was The Rescuers, which turns out to be Disney’s watered-down version of a true classic, The Rescuers by Margery Sharp. Disney took that classic and turned it into a movie, complete with merchandising and several tie-in books.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume




If you grew up in the 70s or early 80s, you probably read this one. It’s still considered the ultimate coming-of-age story for girls. As an adult, all I remember from this book was that her father cut his finger on the lawnmower and that she was obsessed with getting her period.

The Cat Ate My Gymsuit by Paula Danziger


I remember reading more than one of Paula Danziger’s books, but I related to this one as someone who never felt thin enough.

Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key


Two kids have special powers. What kid wouldn’t be fascinated with that? This book was already a movie by the time I read the book, but I didn’t see the movie until later.

Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan


I read several of Lois Duncan’s books, but this is the one I remember best. A group of kids take their English teacher to the woods to teach him a lesson. Things go horribly wrong.

I’m Christy by Maud Johnson


I read a crazy number of books in middle school, but this is one that stuck with me. I’m Christy was the first in a series. I only read the second one to figure out what happened (SPOILER ALERT) after her boyfriend died at the end of the first one. If that ending hadn’t been tacked on, I wouldn’t have remembered it. (Also, I remember it because a boy in band class was always teasing me, asking why I was reading a book called “Jim Christy.”)

There are so many others, but these are the books that I remember most vividly. I think that means the authors did something right! I’d love to see what your commenters say were their favorite books as kids.




Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 

Piper Morgan
By Stephanie Faris

When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.

In Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, Piper learns her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus. She can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!



In Piper Morgan in Charge, Piper’s mom takes a job in the local elementary school principal’s office. Piper is excited for a new school and new friends—and is thrilled when she is made an “office helper.” But there is one girl who seems determined to prove she is a better helper—and she just so happens to be the principal’s daughter. Can Piper figure out how to handle being the new girl in town once more?



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Thanks so much Stephanie. I love the cute photo of you! Many of your favourite books are new to me. I’ve read The rescuers by Margery Sharp and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume but none of the others. 

Like Stephanie, I would be interested to know which books you treasure from your childhood.  Have you read any / all of the ones featured here?


84 comments:

  1. I have read most of the books listed above. Some other favorites from my childhood are the Little House on the Prairie Books and the Little Women books by Louisa May Alcott.

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    1. I never read any Little House on the Prairie books, mostly because by that time it was a TV show. I did read Little Women while I was sick in elementary school. I decided to call my disease "Scarlet Fever" because it sounded so much more glamorous than whatever I had at the time--probably the flu!

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  2. I have read Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume and all the Judy Blume books. Like you, my mother had to pry me away from my books to get me to go outside and play. I was often seen at sporting events, reading a book! I read so many books and the ones I remember well are, Anne of Green Gables, Heidi, Little Women, Pollyanna, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Black Beauty and The Bobbsey Twins. Your books look adorable, Stephanie and I hope I win.

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    1. I read some Nancy Drew, too! I don't remember which ones. It's amazing how long that series has been going. It started in the 30s!!!

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  3. Hi Barbara and Stephanie,

    Although I've not read any of the books you've noted, Stephanie, I certainly agree that the books we read in our childhood and beyond, certainly helped instil the passion for the written word. A passion that inspires you.

    All the best with the giveaway and yes, I shall take the liberty of sharing this post.

    I remember reading "The Famous Five" books, by Enid Blyton. Especially, "Five on a Treasure Island."

    Thank you for featuring Stephanie.

    Gary :)

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    1. I would imagine boys would have a completely different reading list, except maybe the first book up there!

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    2. The Famous Five books were my favourites too. I have a full set on the shelf which I intend to read again one of these days. Thanks for sharing. Have a lovely holiday. Barbara x

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    3. I LOVED/LOVE the Famous Five! I still re-read them.

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    4. Hi Colleen, I always knew you were a lady with impeccable taste. ;-)

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  4. I remember and have read some of the above books, and my favourites as a little girl were The Little Golden books!

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    1. I mentioned this somewhere--but they still have those Golden Books at World Market. I saw The Pokey Little Puppy and I still can't remember if I read it. My biggest problem in putting this list together was just remembering the names of books. Many of the ones I remember weren't hugely popular, so finding them based on basic criteria I remember is impossible. (Which is funny, because that's exactly what Barbara does!)

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    2. It has taken me years to re-collect my Little Golden Books. They are such treasures.I have found some of the scarcer ones at yard sales/jumble sales as well as online.

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    3. Yard sales are just the best - I've found a few treasures in much the same way.

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  5. I loved reading about your favourite childhood books, Stephanie - and that's a generous giveaway.

    We had lots of Little Golden Books growing up, and I was really thrilled to buy an anthology of them a few years ago, which I could then read to my son:
    https://www.amazon.com/Family-Treasury-Little-Golden-Books/dp/0307168506/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1473058531&sr=1-4&keywords=golden+books+treasury

    My favourite book from my pre-teen years was 'A Wrinkle in Time' by Madeleine L'Engle. Did you ever read that one?

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    1. I read that one! I remember reading it, but I can't remember details from it. I hate that I forget things like that over time!

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  6. Where's Finnigan....!!! :).

    HeHe! Well...I had to think about this..
    As l don't read books..."Willie, we've been
    through all that". "Yes" "Yes". But! l was
    trying to think of any books l read as a child.
    After all l will be soixante neuf on St Matthews
    Day this month...!
    I remember having a BIG bible...That was great!
    I could put it under the window..stand on it..
    and see out! Brilliant! Seriously though, l do
    know my bible...! "And the lord said unto Moses,
    come forth..come forth...he can fifth and lost his
    beer money". :).

    Trying to think of school books....Usual classics,
    l was always told off for not reading them, luckily
    most of them were made into films! Job done!
    So..The only books l enjoyed were children's books,
    with pictures..and reading to my daughter at bed time,
    was great fun..l carried on reading, ages after she'd
    gone to sleep! Know most of them off by heart....
    "It was summer in the country. All the hay had been
    stacked and the fields of corn were yellow. Round the
    edges of the fields ran......" There ya go....
    'The Ugly Duckling'.

    Not entering the competition...As l don't enter via
    Facebook or e~mail...Usual entry is by comment..first
    time l've seen it done like this...! Strange! Never mind!

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    1. Yeah--because my blog tour included 20 blogs, I couldn't find a way to make it work with "leave a comment" for all those different blogs. Luckily people have left comments anyway!

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    2. Hi Willie, Maybe give the raffle copter entry a go, you might find it easy. I don't know because I've never done it either. ;-) Thanks for leaving a comment, Barbara

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    3. Hi! Morning Barbara....
      No! Won't bother..if l enter a 'Give~away'
      usual way it leave a comment! Simple as that!
      But! I have noticed that this 'Give~away' is
      not only for this post...and your Blog! But!
      can be entered by anyone anywhere!

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  7. Lovely post, but afraid being born early 40's have not read any of them. My favourites were Black Beauty, Famous Five books and any story about horses or nurses. I ended up working in riding stables for pocket money and then auxiliary nursing when I left school. Had to wait a few more years for the adventures!

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    1. If you love horses, Jess Burkhart has a great series about horses for middle-grade readers...if you have children/grandchildren that age, you should check it out!

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  8. I only remember going to the theater to see Witch Mountain. Didn't even know it was a book.
    My favorite kids book was The Mouse and the Motorcycle. By the time I hit junior high, I was deep into adult fantasy and science fiction.

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    1. There are SO many movies people don't realize were books first. Often I won't even realize it until later...but I don't pay much attention to today's movies.

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  9. I love that picture of you, Stephanie! You look like you're pondering the mysteries of the world. (Or maybe wondering what happened to the rest of David's body, and if you were going to get blamed for breaking him?)

    My whole family loved to read, but books were a luxury for us so we didn't have a lot of them. I know we had an old "Grimm's Fairy Tales" book that had been read to pieces. In it eyes were plucked out by birds and toes cut off to fit shoes and other gruesome things. I shivered at those part but I read it anyway. My dad did bring home a Little Golden Book about Travel that (maybe because it was my very own personal book) became my favorite. I had big dreams of seeing the world.

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    1. Yes, those "fairy tales" were VERY violent and gruesome in their original forms! They were definitely cleaned up when they were made into children's versions.

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    2. And now they're being retold in current or modern settings. "Twilight" is something of a "Beauty and the Beast" retelling. And "Cinderella" has had numerous retellings.

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  10. I'm familiar with or have read most of these books. But they weren't around when I was a kid. Some books I read as a kid were Call of the Wild, Kazan the Wolf Dog, the Oz books, The Princess and Curdie.

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    1. I see so many people talking about kids' books of the 90s and I feel left out, so I can relate to that! Like Junie B. Jones--that was after my childhood but before I started writing children's books, so I was totally out of the loop on them.

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  11. Out of the books you mentioned, I read "Are There God..." many times. I also read "The Cat Ate My Gymsuit," and "I'm Christy." I Only last year did I read "Killing Mr. Griffin."

    The Little House series was one of my favorites as well as "Charlotte's Web" and "Little Women." I read those over and over. Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary books were also among those I read most often.

    I'm now itching to re-read some of these :-)

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    1. YAY!!! Someone else who read "I'm Christy." I was surprised to find other people talking about it online. I thought it was some obscure book that only I remembered. Turns out it was #2 in the Wildfire series--I remember reading other Wildfire books. I always thought there was only one sequel to I'm Christy but it looks like there were several books in the series. I should go back and re-read them.

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    2. I believe most of the Wildfire Romance books were stand-alones. Same with Silhouette, Sweet dreams and other thematic romance series, though some books in these series did have sequels.

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  12. Thank you so much for hosting me today, Barbara! I always love the books you feature here, so I'm honored to be here.

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    1. The pleasure is all mine Stephanie, thanks so much, Barbara

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  13. What a cute baby you were. Made me smile.

    Jim Christy. Bwahahahahahahaha. That made me laugh out loud.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. It definitely left an impression on me...although I can't remember the name of the guy who said it!

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  14. I read most of these, too! I never much cared for "Are you there..." for some weird reason. Maybe because periods were something I always wished I *wouldn't* get ;) Gotta love the older covers--those made me smile!

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    1. I tried to read it again and I feel bad about saying I couldn't get into it. Books were different back then. Same with Ramona the Spy--it seemed disjoined and confusing to me, but plots weren't quite as concise as they are now.

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  15. Loved the baby photo. Very sweet. And the books are very familiar. Isn't it wonderful to have such great books in our heads and our hearts?

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    1. I think many of us share some of the same favorite books in common and don't even realize it!

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  16. Great photos and interesting books. I remember "Escape to Witch Mountain" but not the others. Probably the reason I don't remember my really young books is that I was quickly followed by a brother and then a sister and books along with a number of other things failed to survive.

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    1. LOL, I can imagine that! I loved reading my younger sister's books, actually. She was into the Cheerleader and Sweet Valley High series. I was in high school and too old to be reading those by then, but I read them anyway!

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  17. I read all of these! You took me back lol. Little Golden Books were my jam.

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    1. Check out World Market if you have one--all of them are in display on a spinning stand over near the greeting cards.

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  18. Escape to witch mountain was a favorite. Then they made the movie and my sister and I freaked the hell out! :)

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    1. That was a fun movie, too! I remember loving the book and I liked the movie...but it's never as good when you read the book first, I guess!

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    2. I feel as if I'm missing out here - not read the book, not seen the movie - where have I been? Thanks for your visit Diane.

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    3. I agree with Stephanie. Read the book first!

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    4. Thanks Diane. Willie (see comment above) has sent me a link to the film on YouTube so I will be watching it in the next couple of days. Barbara

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  19. I've never read Are You There God? but I did read Forever by Judy Blume. Another book by the author that I read and loved until it was falling apart was Fudge-A-Mania. Other books from my childhood were the Sweet Valley and Nancy Drew Series, Little Women, Moby Dick, Oliver Twist and Bram Stoker's Dracula.

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    1. I read Forever, too...we passed it around in junior high. It was our guilty pleasure, I guess! I loved Sweet Valley High but it didn't come out until I was in high school, so I had to read my sister's copies in secret!

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  20. I read Enid Blyton, Goosebumps, V.C. Andrews and others as a child. Nice list Steph.

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    1. I loved V.C. Andrews! We passed her books around in junior high. I read everything she wrote before she died and a ghostwriter took over.

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  21. Great post! I'm familiar with just about all these books, but as a kid I read Trixie Belden books, Harriet the Spy, and lots of classics. I also remember Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. It was a big deal when Judy Blume first hit the scene. My mother brought me home a writing magazine with her on the cover and I read about her over and over again, very inspiring. Congratulations on your Piper Morgan books, Stephanie, they look great and I've been meaning to look into them.

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    1. Thank you, Marcia! Judy Blume really paved the way for children's/young adult writers. I'm surprised she got away with as much as she did! She pushed a lot of boundaries...but it worked.

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  22. I was a total bookworm when I was young.
    That pic is darling!
    And just think in years to come they'll be saying they read Piper Morgan when they were growing up:)

    Nice to meet you, Barbara.

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    1. Nice to meet you too, Sandra. Thanks for coming over, Barbara

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    2. I can only hope so! I tend to forget the fact that kids will actually READ my books and they may make a lasting impression.

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  23. Why oh why did my Mom ever throw out all my Golden books - from the 1950's? I cannot even remember many of the early books I read.

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    1. Hi Denise, my mum did the same, and I've spent years trying to replace them. I've managed to find all except three but have yet to find any that once belonged to me - I always look for my name on the flyleaf! Barbara

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    2. Those books are probably worth a lot of money now?

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    3. Hi Stephanie, without a doubt! The Famous Five books by Enid Blyton are also valuable now – but only the 1st edition hardbacks with dust jackets.

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  24. Ah, Escape To Witch Mountain. I remember reading this by torchlight under the bed clothes with my cousin.

    Lovely to see Stephanie here. Good luck with the giveaway.

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    1. I remember reading Escape to Witch Mountain in the bathtub. It was the first time I ever read a book in the bathtub. My mom wasn't home--otherwise she probably would have told me to leave the book in another room so I didn't drop it in the water!

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  25. I had so many of the Little Golden Books. The Pokey Little Puppy was one of my favorites. I also read a lot of Nancy Drew.

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    1. I looked through The Pokey Little Puppy when I found it at World Market recently. I didn't remember it but I'm sure I must have read it as a kid!

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  26. Growing up I read the entire Fear Street series by R.L. Stine. It definitely shaped the kind of books I like to write. :)

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    1. I read some of his books, too. He says those weren't ghostwritten. I'd LOVE to have a series that let me put out a new book every two months for years!!!

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  27. Oh, my childhood books - starting out with The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss and progressing to the Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew (I loved those series) and (what was I thinking? But they were written in the 20's and 30's after all) Bomba the Jungle Boy. Yes, Bomba prepared me for the Tarzan books. By the age of 11 I was deeply into Edgar Rice Burroughs.

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    1. Bomba the Jungle Boy? I haven't heard of that one! I'm going to have to look that up.

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  28. I didn't read the Paula Danziger book because I remember wanting it, but I think it was checked out of the school library with an enticing title like that. I had that paperback copy of Killing Mr. Griffin, but lost it. I loved Little Golden Books.

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    1. There was also a Paula Danziger book about pistachios that I read. I can't say I loved it...at that age I loved everything I read, pretty much!

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  29. Nice book! "The Rescuers" look so fun and cute ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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  30. I read ARE YOU THERE GOD? and Little Golden Books (though not the one Stephanie mentioned here). Childhood reads make such a strong mark in our minds. I had trouble reading when I was around 9-12 but R.L. Stine's Fear Street series lured me back to the pack. Haven't looked back since!

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    1. I'm very glad you were lured back Claudine - just think of all the fun you would have missed. ;-)

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  31. I loved strolling down memory lane with Stephanie. I read many of the same books that she did when I was growing up. Judy Blume was one of my favorite authors. Wishing Stephanie all the best! :)

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    1. I enjoyed Stephanie's post too, and it has been fun finding out about everyone’s favourite books/authors. Thanks for leaving a comment.

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  32. I read so many books as a child. I had an "adventurous" childhood and books were my sanity savers. Many ,many of my favorites are on my shelves and are re-read. I love Sooty and Rupert. I even made a Sooty hand puppet. He lives on a shelf overlooking my computer. This is a lovely post Barbara and Stephanie! So much fun to discover what others read and loved and still keep!

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    1. Thank you for sharing some of your favourite books Colleen. I have fond memories of Rupert and Sooty in old annuals and on TV. I don’t have a Sooty puppet, but I do have a saggy, pink and white striped cat by the name of Bagpuss sitting on my desk!

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  33. Congratulations to Stephanie! I've recommended her book to my niece.

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    1. Thank's Nas that was very nice of you. Barbara

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  34. I loved reading Judy Blume's books when I was a kid and I remember Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

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  35. Are you there God? it's me, Margaret is obviously a very popular choice amongst young/teenage girls.

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  36. Hello Barbara! Thank you for coming for a visit from Anita's blog!
    I too was an avid reader as a child, and still enjoy it, what fun to see the books you remember from your childhood!

    ~ Violet

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    1. Hello Violet, thanks so much for coming over. I know I’m going to enjoy your blog. I have masses of favourite books from my childhood and also have a large collection of them now, but the ones in this post were chosen by Stephanie Faris, who kindly did a guest post for me.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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