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Retro Reading List: 2000-2001

That thing I said I was gonna do? I did it. This is my 9th grade reading list, the very first official one I kept. Mass-produced series book titles have been removed because one is basically the same as another in my memory, but all the others have been annotated with whatever I can remember, or whatever reaction I had to looking it up in the absence of a memory (frequent)

Classics & nonfiction books have been moved to the end; all others are in alphabetical order because I wanted to make my life harder. Or actually, because I was hoping this might make it easier for people to find books they recognized. Tell me if you've read any of these, loved or hated!


1. Saying it Out Loud - Joan Abelove (1999)
Original rating: 3 stars
No memory of this at all, but it would appear I dug cancer stories quite early in my reading career.

2. King's Shadow - Elizabeth Alder (1995)
Original rating: 4 stars
Medieval story. I remember this because it was the first time I'd ever really been forced to think about what it was like to be mute as a result of having your tongue cut out.

3. X-Files novel: Ruins - Kevin J. Anderson (1997)
Original rating: 5 stars
The original reading of MY BABY.

4. X-Files novel: Antibodies - Kevin J. Anderson (1997)
Original rating: 3.5 stars
My third tie-in novel. Don't remember it.

5. X-Files novel: Ground Zero - Kevin J. Anderson (1995)
Original rating: 3.5 stars
See above but replace "third" with "last."

6. Along the Tracks - Tamar Bergman (1991)
Original rating: 1.5 stars.
Yep, I remember being real bored by this raggedy homeless boy during WWII.

7. Brothers of the Heart - Joan W. Blos (1985)
Original rating: 2.5 stars
One of the books I bought off the library sale cart in '08 thinking I'd loved it. Something to do with 19th century meeting between white settler and Indian healer. I have yet to go through it to confirm if it was worth it.

8. Silas and the Black Mare - Cecil Bodker (1967)
Original rating: 1.5 stars
...how do you even get me to dislike a horse book? Was it lost in translation or was it not really a horse book (even though it really sounds like a horse book)?

9. The Pinballs - Betsy Byars (1977)
Original rating: 1.5 stars
Ooh, I remember reading this one because a friend thought it was really good. I do love Byars, normally, but this one about foster kids...I was definitely bored by.

10.
Voices from Home - Neil Caudle (1989)
Original rating: 1.5 stars
My keywords say "trash teen, weird," which kind of fits in with this WHAT THE HELL?? soap opera dramatica summary: The shooting death of her stepmother turns teenaged Libby against everyone : her confused mother, her dotty grandmother, her aimless brother, her well-meaning aunt, and, worst of all, her adored father--a former baseball player now suspected of murder.

11. Honor to the Hills - Eileen Charbonneau (1996)
Original rating: 2.5 stars
A story about slavery focused on rescuing a free woman captured in the North and sold back into slavery.

12. Witch's Children - Patricia Clapp (1982)
Original rating: 3 stars
A quick introductory read to the Salem Witch Trials.

13. Fire Bringer - David Clement-Davies (2000)
Original rating: 5 stars
A Christmas present that so thoroughly blew me away it still stands proudly on my shelf, though I'm afraid to read it again because I'm sure I can't recapture the magic of loving the world of deer mythology and hero quests (also by deer).

14. The Final Tide - Norma Cole (1990)
Original rating: 4 stars
Oh yeah. That is one perfectly dated story. When the Tennessee Valley Authority builds a dam at Wolf Creek to bring electricity to Tollers Ridge, everyone in Geneva's family prepares to move to highr ground except for Granny who refuses to leave her home.

15. Winners - Mary Ellen-Lang Collura (1984)
Original rating: 2.5 3
Don't remember much but I think I should reread this one. Horses + Reservation kids is usually a winning combo for me, even though it's rocking a rare below-3 rating on Goodreads.

16. Hail Hail Camp Timberwood - Ellen Conford (1978)
Original rating: 2.5 stars
Hey hey hey, look at that classic middle grade camp love story trope.

17. Both Sides of Time - Caroline B. Cooney (1995)
Original rating: 4 stars
I'm trying to figure out what appealed to me about this, but I'm going to guess it was the aspect of being transported back in time at "the ruins of a derelict mansion." I am way more on board with time travel if it happens at the site of an abandoned historic mansion.

18. The Fire - Caroline B. Cooney (1990)
Original rating: 2 stars
That is a real exciting looking summary, but I also feel like that's probably how she got me the first time around. I don't even know if I read the first two books in this apparently-a-trilogy.

19. Wanted! - Caroline B. Cooney (1997)
Original rating: 3 stars
Ooh, teen-framed-for-murdering-her-father adventure, let's go. This is the Cooney who made me keep going back for more.

20. Earthchange - Clare Cooper (1985)
Original rating: 4.5 stars
I was about to wonder why I rated this so high, since I had marked it sci-fi (even though High School Me actually had impressive patience for sci-fi and fantasy before I turned on them with vitriol somewhere in college), but then, oh. Oh, it's a post-apocalyptic book. That's different. Check this out: After a catastrophe turns Earth into an inhospitable wilderness, young Rose sets out to find help for her grandmother and a baby, warding off wolves and fierce humans, and finally reaching a group of survivors with scientific interests in restoring Earth to its original beauty.


21. Song of the Wanderer - Bruce Coville (1999)
Original rating: 4 stars
Ah yes, the days when I still sought out unicorn books.


22. Children of the River - Linda Crew (1989)
Original rating: 4 stars
A story about escaping the Khmer Rouge not too far removed from the actual events.

23. The Great American Elephant Chase - Gillian Cross (1992)
Original rating: 4.5 stars
And yet I remember nothing about it, aside from later seeing it on the college library shelves and thinking, "Ah yes, that one, that's a 3-star read right there."


24. Roscoe's Leap - Gillian Cross (1987)
Original rating: 4 stars
Keywords: "family secrets, old house." And looking at the Goodreads summary, now I really wanna know what happened.

25. Helen Keller's Teacher - Mickie Davidson (1965)
Original rating: 1 star
OI NOW, PAST ME, SHAME. I guess you must have been bored. But this is an Important book -- a Scholastic paperback, a simple fictionalized biography for young readers -- that is basically the foundation of me knowing who Helen Keller is, and I've never forgotten the description of how Annie Sullivan came into her lifechanging job. This came from the house where my mom grew up and I know for a fact that I have paged through it multiple times since this read.

26. A Bone from a Dry Sea - Peter Dickinson (1992)
Original rating: 3.5 stars
Ah yes, the very memorable story of a young female archaeologist. Not so many of those around.

27. In Lane Three, Alex Archer - Tessa Duder
Original rating: 3 stars
Goodreads recommends this to me a lot, since I have not told it I've read it. From what little I recall: great book if you want to read about a competitive swimmer, especially for younger readers.


28. Clementina - Eileen Dunlop (1985)
Original rating: 4 stars
My keywords: "old Scottish mystery, ghosts, catles, repeating history." Still sounds pretty neat!

29. Battle Dress - Amy Efaw (2000)
Original rating: 4 stars
I've been thinking this was the one about a girl posing as a man to fight in the Civil War -- it's actually about a female cadet at West Point. Apparently based on the author's experiences.

30. Wild Runners - Mel Ellis (1970)
Original rating: 4 stars
Oh! I just bought this at a used bookstore! I didn't even recognize it, but was drawn in by the half-breed dog meets half-breed boy (to use outdated and insensitive yet distinctive terminology) theme.

31. The Magnificent Barb - Dana Faralla (1949)
Original rating: 3 stars
I had no idea I'd read this! It comes up from time to time on old horse book rec lists...I wanna read it again. I bet I'd like it better.

32. The Black Stallion's Filly - Walter Farley (1952)
Original rating: 2 stars
I tried...so very hard...to love this series that my best friend loved. Over and over, I tried.

33. A Place Apart - Paula Fox (1980)
Original rating: 2 stars
I have so little memory of this that I've forgotten what Goodreads said it was about at least 3 times over the course of creating this post. Here, so I don't have to click the link again: "After her father's death, thirteen-year-old Victoria and her mother struggle to regain a sense of order and security.
"

34. Peace, O River - Nancy Garden (1986)
Original rating: 3 stars
TOWN FEUDS. RICH VS. POOR. Sign me up.

35. X-Files novels: Goblin/Whirlwind - Charles Grant (1995)
Original rating: 2 stars
These were republished together as a single 2-volume edition, so I counted them as one, I guess. I got this as a Christmas present in 2000 and I still have it because I was very proud of my X-Files shelf. Sounds like maybe I should purge it if these were my least favorite stories, though.

36. The Pig-Out Blues - Jan Greenberg (1982)
Original rating: 5 stars
One of the most memorable books I read this year, as you can see from that link. I still have this within easy reach on the shelf. It's just so familiar and comforting, even with the dated attitudes about figures and dieting.

37. It All Began With Jane Eyre - Sheila Greenwalk (1980)
Original rating: 5 stars
Honestly, this is probably not as good as I remember, but I will always cherish it for the opening description of the main character sitting in heaven, i.e. reading her favorite book in her cozy cave of a closet by the light of the flashlight, accompanied by a bag of chips, box of cookies, and whatever a bottle of "celery tonic" is. I snapped it up off the sale cart just so I could have that description nearby. (plus it has a great cover image depicting this, unlike the cartoonish sketches inside)

38.Agnes Cecilia - Maria Gripe translated  by Rika Lesser (1981)
Original rating: 4.5 stars
As I recall, this was a really spooky doll/family mystery book, so I -- I am gonna let 2008 Me do the talking here: "Agnes Cecilia is a doll.  A doll that sometimes seems alive.  It's an excellently written, semi-paranormal mystery.  I loved this book to pieces when I first read it, so I may have squeaked a bit when I saw it and grabbed it with such enthusiasm that it shot off the shelf and hit the floor."


39. Stepping on the Cracks - Mary Downing Hahn (1991)
Original rating: 3.5 stars
A WWII story that spotlights a less visible setting -- the everyday life of ordinary American children growing up despite wartime conditions.

40. Mother Earth, Father Sky (1990)

41. My Sister the Moon (1992) - Sue Harrison
Original ratings: 5 stars each
No memory of these, but the first title sounds really familiar (it looks pretty popular, too) and these prehistoric-set novels sound neat, especially the second one. And apparently, there's a third!

42. Shadow Horse - Alison Hart (1999)
Original rating: 4.5 stars
I actually do have this on my Goodreads account, having recently discarded it in this year's book purge for the reasons shown.

43. The Day They Came to Arrest the Book - Nat Hentoff (1982)
Original rating: 2 stars
I barely remember it but I feel like this is a well known title (about censorship); am I right? It at least feels like something they might teach in schools, and one that is perhaps still relevant to today's discussions.


44. Winter of the White Seal - Marie Herbert (1982)
Original rating: 2 stars
Awwww, what a cute cover! I would like to try this one again. Early 19th century castaway in Antarctica befriends a wild seal?? I'm beginning to wonder if some of these got low ratings just because they went beyond my grade level comfort zone.

45. The Half Child - Kathleen Hersom (1989)
Original rating: 4 stars
This one's interesting because it purports to be about a changeling / fairy child, when we as modern readers know she's actually simply mentally handicapped.

46. Mercy's Birds - Linda Holeman (1998)
Original rating: 1 star
As I mentioned in the post where I bought this book: "I remember adoring this when I read it way back in high school.  Nostalgia is excellent. I think it's something to do with depression and a whole mess o' family problems. [EDIT: Just found my reading list. I gave it 1 star. Hahaha! Maybe I just remember loving the cover.]" I have yet to reread it to confirm if I should get rid of it, though.

47. The Unfrightened Dark - Isabelle Holland (1990)
Original rating: 4.5 stars
Oh wow. I can't believe I read this only once and 17 years ago -- I so vividly remember the plot of a blind girls' seeing eye dog being kidnapped. I own this too (one of the many library discards picked up at once in '08), but in a mass market paperback edition with a black and white photo on the cover. Should upload that to Goodreads if I can dig it out of its box.

48. Until Whatever - Martha Humphreys (1991)
Original rating: 3 stars
A teen girl living with AIDS when that was both unusual and a lot more fatal.


49. Breaking the Ring - Donna Inglehart (1991)
Original rating: 4 stars
Oh WOW does this sound like a perfect 90s Issue book. Three girls spending their summer vacation at their grandparents' house on the St. Lawrence River discover hidden cocaine on an island and become suspect of drug dealing themselves.

50. Secrets of a Summer Spy - Janice Jones
Original rating: 3 stars
*goose egg memory*

51. The Young Mustangers - Jonreed Lauritzen (1957)
Original rating: 4 stars
I don't remember this but it sure sounds like a classic vintage horse book to me.

52. Black Mountain - Robert Leasure (1975)
Original rating:
2 stars
OK but like THIS SOUNDS AWESOME.

53. Incident at Loring Groves - Sonia Levitin (1988)
I wonder what the incident was. Let me just..."But one moonlit night, everything in their lives changes. While partying with their friends, Cassidy and Ken stumble upon a dead body." WELL HELLO. That actually sounds pretty awesome.

54. Tomorrow, When the War Began - John Marsden (1993)
Original rating: 4.5 stars
I'm told this series is more famous in its native Australia than here, but even so, this first book blew my mind, and I keep wanting to reread the set to see if I would still feel that way. The description of them coming back from their camping trip to find chained dogs dead of dehydration in abandoned property still haunts me, and even though I can't remember many more specifics, the idea of a tiny group of refugee teens hiding out from random country-invasion war stayed with me ever since.

55. Acorna's World - Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (2000)
Original rating: 2 stars
This weirdo little series is about a human-ish alien with a unicorn horn. I had a friend who was in love with McCaffrey's dragon books, which bored me, but I apparently liked the Acorna books. Until this 4th one, apparently.


56. Riding on the Wind - Brix McDonald (1997)
Original rating: 2.5 stars
This is apparently a historical YA novel about the pony express. Do I remember it? Nah.

57. The Brightest Light - Colleen O'Shaughnessy McKenna (1992)
Original rating: 3 stars
The only clue I have as to what this is about are the two Goodreads reviews and "teen babysitter" in my keywords.


58. X-Files novel: Skin - Ben Mezrich (1999)
Original rating: 4 stars
The summary sounds weird now, but it was my second tie-in novel and I was high on New Philedom.


59. Touching Spirit Bear - Ben Mikaelsen (2001)
Original rating: 5 stars
This is probably the only book ever to reach critical acclaim* that I personally discovered on my own -- right at the point of release, too, apparently -- and loved. (*at least while I was in college, it was frequently assigned in the YA Lit course for education majors, and it appears to be frequently taught in school curriculums. I was so excited to learn this.)


60. Flowers of Hiroshima - Edita Morris (1959)
Original rating: 3.5 stars
This is such a haunting title, fitting for the haunting subject matter. Feels like it should be more well known. Possibly because every time someone has mentioned "Flowers for Algernon" since I read this one, I have thought, "but this book is so much better than that one sounds like it is."

61. One Bird - Kyoko Mori (1995)
Original rating: 5 stars
I spent an embarrassing amount of the year 2000 being a weaboo obsessed with all things Japanese thanks to Digimon, but at least it led me to this book. I have no idea why I liked it or what happened, but I remember being deeply moved by it.

62. Shizuko's Daughter - Kyoko Mori (1993)
Original rating: 5 stars
I read this because of the above, and I remember even less. It's a title that sticks with ya, though.

63. Love is for the Dogs - Pat Rhoads Mouser (1989)
Original rating: 2
What the hell, past me. Was the attempted romance just too much of a waste of time for ya? I remember this scrappy paperback with such fondness I was even able to find it for someone on a "what was that book" group. Never forgot the cover with the boy holding the little black Scottie, either.


64. West Against the Wind - Lisa Ketchum Murrow (1987)
Original rating: 3.5 stars
Ooh, an Oregon Trail story, sounds cool. The ones written before the computer game became super-prevalent are always the coolest.

65. Send No Blessings - Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (1990)
Original rating: 3.5 stars
I've never forgotten this. There's something so timeless about the idea of a poor girl wanting to escape the life of taking care of too many little siblings with not enough money.

66. A String of Chances - Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (1982)
Original rating: 3 stars
...on the other hand I don't remember this and don't even know what it is about.

67. Jane Gibbs: Little Bird That Was Caught -  Anne Neuberger (1998)
Original rating: 3.5 stars
Totally forgot about this one that feels like a classic. I had no idea it was based on a true story.


68. Don't Look and It Won't Hurt - Richard Peck (1972)
Original rating: 3.5 stars
Things I learned just now: this is the book Gas/Food/Lodging is adapted from (haven't seen it but have heard of it), and this sounds like a potentialy intriguing messed-up-poor-family story, with a side of early 70s social customs.

69. Both Sides Now - Ruth Pennebaker (2000)
Original rating: 3 stars
Another book about a mom with cancer, apparently.

70. Lioness Rampant - Tamora Pierce (1988)
Original rating: 4 stars
Oh yeah! I was big on Tamora Pierce books in middle school. There is something kind of neat about medieval-ish fantasy that stars heroines...or was. I wonder if I could still feel that way.

71. Riding the Wind - Barbara Polikoff (1995)
Original rating: 3 stars
Looks like a cute standard horse story.

72. A Dance for Three - Louise Plummer (2000)
Original rating: 3 stars
Teen pregnancy story. Sounds familiar but I can't place the plot beyond that.

73. Pure (original title A Certain Age) - Rebbecca Ray (1998)
Original rating: 0 stars
BARF. GARBAGE. DUMPSTER FIRE. EXTERMINATE IT. And all I know about this is that it had some kind of sexually explicit grossness in it that scarred me for years until I successfully repressed the memory. It also apparently had no other redeeming qualities and thus became one of...I think two? books in my entire high school career I rated zero stars.

74. To Soon for Jeff - Marilyn Reynolds (1994)
I gave it 2.5 stars, but oh-ho-ho boy does this sound like some perfect 90s teen parenthood melodrama.

75. A Stitch in Time - Ann Rinaldi (1994)
Original rating: 3.5
I have the vague sense that this went on my radar because another class or group got to read this as an assignment in 8th grade. I remember little to nothing about Rinaldi books, but I know I enjoyed several once upon a time.

76. Lucy Peale -  Colby Rodowsky
I only gave this 3 stars but also, what is this summary!!, it sounds like something that would be right up my alley nowadays: Pregnant after a rape and cruelly rejected by her preacher father, seventeen-year-old Lucy runs away to Ocean City, where she is taken in by Jake, an aspiring writer.

77. Wild Horse Summer - Hope Ryden (1997)
This is a fantastic book I actually got new -- picked out at either Walden Books or B.Dalton in the mall for my 14th birthday -- and I have cherished it since then (...and I have as yet failed to add it to Goodreads! Must have wanted to do a quick skim to make sure I did its review justice).


78. Send One Angel Down - Virginia Schwartz (2000)
Original rating: 4 stars
Moving story of slavery (featuring a biracial slave).

79. Kate of Still Waters - Martha Bennet Stiles (1990)
Original rating: 4.5 stars
I remember it being about a farm girl, which was cool, but the allure of this one has definitely faded.

80. Slave Day - Rob Thomas (1997)
Standing up against racist school traditions seen as harmless fun -- 20 years ago. I was about to make a comment at how much it sounds like a book that would have been written today and then immediately realized, "Oh. Oh, that's bad." That said, I'm surprised it only has 247 ratings on Goodreads right now -- it seems like one that would have been kept in the public eye, especially since according to GR, this is the same Rob Thomas who created Veronica Mars.

81. Ghost Abbey - Robert Westall (1988)
Orginal rating: 4 stars
"When her father's new job takes the entire family to a dilapidated old abbey in England, twelve-year-old Maggi discovers that both she and the building are haunted by ghosts from their pasts." My love of ghost stories in haunted old buildings is long and enduring.

82. Homeless Bird - Gloria Whelan (2000)
Original rating: 3 stars
Unforgettable story of an Indian girl married too young.

83. Tailchaser's Song - Tad Williams (1985)
Original rating: 4.5 stars
"a world where cats have their own language, culture, and mythology" OK then. I'm going to assume I thought this would be like Ratha's Creature, a fantasy novel that enchanted me in middle school. This is the kind of reading material I got up to once.

84. Make Lemonade - Virginia Wolff (1993)
Original rating: 3 stars
I have never, ever forgotten this title or the evocative way it described living at the poverty line -- so well that I was shocked to discover it was written in verse, and even more surprised I didn't rate it higher.

85. Snow White and Rose Red - Patricia Wrede (1989)
Original rating: 4.5 stars

I honestly haven't the foggiest notion what this was like, but I imagine I read it because of how profoundly moved I was by the author's Briar Rose that I'd read for class the previous year.

86. The Star Fisher - Laurence Yep (1991)
Original rating: 3 stars
Yep was one of a couple of very prolific Asian authors at the library. I didn't realize I'd actually read any of his stuff.


CLASSICS
87. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
Listed as being read "for the 2nd time." Five stars, always. (books I read before keeing a reading list were allowed before I allowed any rereads)

88. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
...how in the hell (and why) did I willingly make it through this book, on my own, at age not-quite-fifteen?? I even gave it 3.5 stars.
Past Me, are you sure you didn't read some kind of Great Illustrated Classics edition?

89. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
This was read for class. I gave it 3 stars and had extremely neutral feelings about it, leading to lifelong bafflement as people fall all over themselves and call it lifechanging.

90-94. Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne's House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside, - L.M. Montgomery
Original ratings: 3, 2.5, 3, 2.5, 1.5

Well, would you look at that! I had begun to doubt my own certainty that I'd finished this series given how little I remember about it, but here is firm proof I did. A very long time ago -- I finished the series by February 2001, a month shy of turning 15. I'm guessing the dwindling ratings are because at this age, I was not super psyched to read about my beloved Anne being a grown up married lady with kids, and/or expected to bond with the next generation? I hope to reread someday.

95-97. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain
2.5, 3.5 and 4 stars, respectively. I feel like one of these was assigned for class -- presumably the second one -- but I'm not sure. According to the list I read them all (in this order) in December before Christmas break.


NONFICTION
98. You Can Talk to Your Animals - Janine Adams (2000)
I gave it a 3 but I was clearly scraping the bottom of the nonfiction barrel in the animal section here.

99. Movie Horses: Their Treatment and Training - Anthony Amaral (1967)
Can you believe the library actually had a nonfiction book this old on its shelves? That would never fly these days, at least in my forward-thinking county. As for the content, I believe it was good but mostly I remember being horrified to learn that once upon a time before the AHA's supervision, horses and other animals could actually be killed to get the right shot.

100. Famous Horses and Their People - Edna Evans (1975)

I gave this 4 stars, but I have no idea what stories were included or what it looked like.

101. The Making of a Woman Vet - Sally Haddock (1985)
Clearly one of the earliest vet memoirs I read, and obviously they were enough to keep me hooked. I feel like this one definitely had an 80s Power Feminism theme running through it, based on the title, but I also remember liking this a lot.

102. The Truth is Out There: Official Guide to the X-Files - Brian Lowry/Chris Carter (1995)
Original rating: 3 stars
I was deep in the heart of newborn philedom, y'all, and had a lot of years to catch up on. My favorite kind of research.

103. Special Agent Scully: The Gillian Anderson Files (1997)
...I have genuinely no memory of this existing! But it does explain why I have so much Gillian Anderson trivia in my head.

104. In Defense of Animals - Peter Singer (1985)
Original rating: 4 stars
I bought this on clearance at Half Price Books. At the time, this book was my JAM, as animal rights were my most passionate cause. Over the years I got quite bored with the self righteousness and ditched the movement for the more sensible animal welfare groups, and unloaded the book as well.

OTHER FUN FACTS
All but 6 or 7 of these were library checkouts.


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