This is my randomly-chosen 11th grade list, which meant a new campus and therefore a new school library full of wondrous old books, especially wondrous old animal books. Or just fun 70s/80s book in general. I did not realize how much I miss having the old collections at my fingertips until I compare this list with the boring 21st-century dense lists I compose now from the public library.
I have also thrown in random comments here and there. Mostly, I want to know if any of you have read any of these, and if so, please comment and let's chat about books. I'm not going to put this post in my sidebar or anything, it's strictly a regular nostalgia entry, so feel free to speak up, yeah? Over classics, if nothing else.
(per usual, bold = amazing, italics = noticeably good enough to recommend, yada yada yada)
Definite themes will emerge as you go.
[2020 edit: now adding Goodreads links so I don't have to type them into the search box by hand, links going to my reviews where available.]
[edit 2: o my folly! in doing so, I broke the fragile HTML that I now remember is fragile because I copied this straight from Word, like a fool.]
1. Woman Chief - Benjamin Capps (1979)
2. Wild Pets [NF] - Robert Leslie (1970)
3. Comanche of the Seventh - Margaret Leighton (1957)
4. Jack - Frank Walker (1976)
The Belgian Shepherd, mind. A human named Jack would never get a 5-star rating.
5. Girl, Interrupted - Susanna Kaysen (1993)
Not even an italic? But, but, I have good memories! It's on my book wishlist! Did I confuse my love for the movie with assumed love for the book?
6. The Ark - Margot Benary-Ishert (1948)
7. Deenie - Judy Blume (1973)
8. It's Crazy to Stay Chinese in Minnesota - Eleanor Wong Telemaque (1978)
9. True Believer - Virginia Euwer Wolff (2001)
10. Big Mutt - John Reese (1952)
11. Rowan Farm - Margot Benary-Ishert (1954)
12. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
13. Fawn - Robert Newton Peck (1975)
14. Horsin' Around Again [NF] - Don Coldsmith (1981)
15. The Golden Pasture - Joyce Carol Thomas (1986)
17. Is There a Doctor in the Barn? [NF] - Elizabeth Yates (1966)
18. Ride a Wild Dream - Lynn Hall (1969)
19. Dr. Wildlife [NF] - Rory C. Foster (1985)
20. Sasha, My Friend - Barbara Corcoran (1969)
A friendly pet wolf, as it were
21. The Luckiest Girl in the World - Steven Levenkron (1997)
22. I Am Regina - Sally M. Keehn (1991)
23. Wolf Woman - Sherryl Jordan (1994)
24. Prairie Songs - Pam Conrad (1985)
25. Great White Buffalo - Harold McCracken (1946)
26. Wild Pony Island - Stephen Meader (1959)
I don't remember this at all, but oh, McCracken and Meader. The school libraries had such dense collections of their amazing bodies of work.
27. Winnie the Horse Gentler - Dandi Mackall (2002)
28. Prince of Central Park - Evan Rhodes (1975)
29. Midnight Fox - Betsy Byars (1968)
30. The Princess Diaries II - Meg Cabot (2001)
31. The Dark Card - Amy Ehrlich (1991)
32. The Blue Hills - Fanny Howe (1981)
33. A Rumor of Otters - Deborah Savage (1984)
LEGENDARY FIRE OF HATE IN MY HEART
35. Henry and Beezus - Beverly Cleary (1952)
36. Legend of the North - Paul Sullivan (1995)
37. Tree Castle Island - Jean Craighead George (2002)
38. Bel Ria - Sheila Burnford (1977)
The author of The Incredible Journey, here with the tale of a European WWII circus dog. I want to own this so badly.
39. Iroquois Trail - M.R. Harrington (1965)
40. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Even then, I loved.
41. Run, Shelly, Run! - Gertrude Samuel (1974)
42. Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbit
Hey, remember before vampires, when there was a non-creepy way to make the idea of immortality appealing?
And thus did Kingsolver make my Author Hit List; ugh, I don't even remember details, just the underlying theme of DIVERSITY!! and how I hated it on sight. FYI, the first three strikes on this list are all things I had to read for class.
44. UnVeiled: One Woman's Nightmare in Iran [NF] - Cherry Mosteshar (1995)
Wow, that's a "Mom checked it out and I read it out of boredom" title if I ever saw one.
45. Multiple Choice - Janet Tashjian (1999)
46. Sky Rider - Nancy Springer (1999)
47. Ghost Horses - Pamela Hill (1996)
48. The Unicorn Dancer - R.A.V. Salsitz (1986)
49. Lost and Found: Dogs, Cats, and Everyday Heroes at a County Animal Shelter [NF] - Elizabeth Hess (1998)
That sounds awesome. I recall nothing, and would like to read it again.
50. Love, Sara -- Mary Beth Lundgren (2001)
51. Trouble's Daughter - Katherine Kirkpatrick (1998)
52. Unicorns in the Rain - Barbara Cohen (1980)
53. Fever 1793 - Laurie Halse Anderson (2000)
So apparently this author and I are not enemies all the time. Huh.
54. Brides of Eden - Linda Crew (2001)
55. Wild Horses of Rainrock - William Rush (1951)
56. Dixie in the Big Pasture - Belinda Hermence (1994)
57. When She Was Good - Norma Fox Mazer (1997)
I mainly remember this looking so cool, and being so dull.
58. Nop's Trials - Donald McCaig (1984)
Nop is a Border Collie. Guess who found out exactly one week ago that there is a sequel to this book, and which is available at the public library, and which she has already requested? I hope it lives up to my memory of the original.
59. Just Ella - Margaret Haddix (1999)
60. Princess in Love - Meg Cabot (2002)
61. Don't You Dare Read This, Miss Dunphrey - Margaret Haddix (1996)
62. Doomed Queen Anne - Carolyn Meyer (2002)
63. Bold Beauty (Winnie the Horse Gentler #2) - Dandi Mackall (2002)
64. The Black Stallion and Flame - Walter Farley (1960)
65. Beans on Toast - Shelley Hrdlitschka (sp?) (1998)
66. Final Grades - Anita Heyman (1985)
This book and I, man. We're like *this*. This book is even 50% of the reason I was so determined to love "King Lear."
67. Sherlock Bones - John Keane (1979)
68. Ordeal of The Young Hunter - Loritzen (1954)
69. A Crack in the Sidewalk - Ruth Wolff (1965)
70. Kathleen, Please Come Home - Scott O'Dell (1978)
71. Goodbye, My Lady - Jame Sleet (1941)
Lady is a dog, FYI. A found Basenji, to be specific. Ol' school library had a right jackpot of old-school dog stories.
72. Cat in the Mirror - Mary Stolz (1975)
73. The Gift of the Deer [NF] - Helen Hoover (1970)
74. I'm Still Me - Betty Jean Lifton (1981)
Apparently I voluntarily read this on my own. Why? Did I think she would get better? Did the passage of time soften my memory of how bad the first book was, just because as class assignments go it was easy to read?
76. An Otter's Story - Emil E. Liers (1953)
Also known as the one I bought a signed copy of last year at a garage sale, and yet had NO MEMORY of reading earlier
Wait, the same lady who "edits" all the anonymous cautionary diaries like Go Ask Alice? Well, no wonder it was so bad.
78. The Secret of Whispering Springs - Jerri Garretson (2002)
79. Anne Frank and Me - Cherie Bennet (2001)
81. Conditions of Love - Ruth Pennebaker (1999)
82. When Morning Comes - Patricia Culvert (1989)
83. The Rose and the Beast - Francesca Lia Block (2000)
I discovered a lot of lifelong favorite books this year, didn't I?
84. Amazing Gracie: A Dog's Tale [NF] - Dan Dye (2000)
Heh, I saw this at the clearance sale yesterday, but I couldn't remember how much I'd loved it. Answer: it was pretty good, but not owning-good.
85. When Jeff Comes Home - Catherine Atkins (1999)
86. The Luckiest Girl - Beverly Cleary (1958)
87. Straydog - Kathe Koja (2002)
88. With Ears Pricked Forward - Joshua Lee (1980)
A collection of mule stories.
89. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling (2003)
90. Crosses - Shelley Stoehr (1991)
91. Skin, and Other Stories - Roald Dahl
Quite the inferior offering, I must say.
92. Follow the Murder: A Faith Cassidy Mystery - Catherine Dain
93. A Restless Evil: A Mitchell and Markby Mystery - Ann Granger
OK, these were both clearly things of Mom's I read when she checked them out
94. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Sorry, world, I only gave it a 3 out of 5 the first time. Took me forever to drag my way through over the summer on my own.
95. If Only They Could Speak: Stories about Pets and Their People [NF] - Nicholos Dodman (2002)
96. Stones of Mourning Creek - Diane Les Becquets (2001)
97. The Raging Quiet - Sherryl Jordan (1999)
98. Mythology [NF] - Edith Hamilton
Dread beast of required summer reading for AP Lit! Though, as nonfiction books go, very readable. I just resented having to memorize everything in it for a test on the first day of class.
99. The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells
100. "The Glass Menagerie" - Tennessee Williams
Laura Wingfield and I are kindred soulmates. Just like this play, which I not only wrote my favorite paper on but found a way to reference on the AP exam, and basically, I think it the most exquisite piece of playwriting ever written.
Interesting fact/point of proud accomplishment, in the 8 years hence, I have managed to round up 10 of the beloved titles on this list to add to my personal collection. High five, Past Me! Another fun statistic, since I can give exact percentages: 97% of my reading material was originally borrowed from a library.
P.S. GUYS GUYS GUYS, THE SOUNDTRACK FOR THE DOCTOR WHO SPECIALS IS OUT, where were you and why were you not informing me of its existence IMMEDIATELY? Bad friends! Bad fandom! OK, dying of Murray Gold-induced ecstasy now, BRB. Or maybe sobbing my heart out when the climax of "Vale Decem" kicks in and brings back all the inconsolable pain of the end.