Childhood Reading: Sweet Valley High

All this talk about YA and Middle School got me thinking about the books I read as a child.   I think I was in 5th grade when I discovered Sweet Valley High books.  My Girl Scout troop had a small library that we stocked with the books we all wanted to trade.  I gave up the classics my mother and father had me reading.  In exchange I discovered my first reading addiction.  Do not ask me what I loved.  I suspect it was a lot like the few months I consumed the Twilight books.  It was like a drug that I couldn’t get enough of.  I was just too young to know how bad it was.

This is how bad it got: I got caught reading a book in school during a lesson.  My teacher was so unhappy that I was reading because I was not doing so well in my classes.  She convinced my parents to take me off some extra curricular activities.  I was 12 at the time. Never in my life before or since has reading gotten me into trouble.  I maintain it was the teacher’s fault.  She was the worst.  She was old and mean and completely out of touch.  Based on my memories, I expect she was in her late-50s or early 60s.  My mother, now in her mid-60s still looks younger than my memory of that teacher.

I stopped reading Sweet Valley High after that incident.  When I detox, I commit to it.  I had hits, but never got as obsessed with SVH again.  I did read a few of the Sweet Valley Twins books (my sister read a few of those and I grabbed her copies), but nothing from this universe has since peaked my interest like the original series.  Even today I can’t see a Fiat Spider without thinking of Elizabeth and Jessica.  I did recently get a copy of the first book.  I know there are more current

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