It started out like any ordinary day. Ate oatmeal with sliced almonds. Went for a run. Spent some time with my work in progress. Went to the mailbox to get the mail. Flipped through the latest issue of one of my favorite magazines.
And that’s when I saw it: The most wonderful, jaw-dropping, month-changing news. On March 29, 2011, a modern-day spin-off of Sweet Valley High called Sweet Valley Confidential will hit bookshelves.
I may have attempted a cheerleader-style celebratory jump. (Attempted being the operative word.)
But really, hearing the news was like reading that a long lost friend was coming back to town. Or that my favorite discontinued nail polish color was back by popular demand. I immediately marked the release date on my calendar, looked up the books on Amazon, and took a walk down memory lane that brought a smile to my face.
My relationship with Sweet Valley High started in fourth grade. A girl in love with books, I politely obliged when my teacher assigned Island of the Blue Dolphins, but ran to the library during recess and stuffed my backpack with as many installments of the Sweet Valley High series as the librarian would let me take. Elizabeth and Jessica were my friends—girls I looked forward to spending time with, girls I learned from.
They were some of the first influences on me as a reader, and in a lot of ways, some of the first influences on me as a writer. After all, I’m still the girl who politely reads Kafka and then fills her Amazon cart with stories described as “fun,” “frothy,” and “funny.”
I guess I’m not too far from that fourth grade girl. And I guess I kind of like it.
So tell me: What books filled your backpack way back when? I’d love to know.