No, not “those” kind of tales – “those” tales makes us shudder. We’re talking about our first literary loves. You know, the books that made us put down the Cabbage Patch Kids, let our brothers have the Atari paddles, and hooked us on the joy of sitting down and getting up hours later without any knowledge that time had passed…
Susan Cooper was the first author who made me truly fall in love with a book. Her series, The Dark is Rising, was set in the modern world, but incorporated Arthurian legends, Celtic myths and magic. This sweeping saga of good versus evil firmly cemented my love of fantasy. Susan Cooper’s books were magical to the eleven-year-old me, and she was my first true reading love.
My first love? Anne Shirley – the redheaded adventure seeker with the unfortunate nickname “carrots.” This spirited girl was just like me, from the hair to the nickname to the scrapes and to being completely misunderstood.
AoGG also had some great sidekicks that I just hearted, Diane Berry and Gilbert Blythe. Diane was the epitome of BFFs and dreamy Gilbert Blythe was my very first fictional crush, sigh.
To this day I fist bump all redheads (they know why), use the term “kindred spirit” and wonder what Kevin Sullivan was thinking when he produced/wrote the Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story in 2000.
I was about 10 years old when I fell in love with a book, a book that became a wildly successful series. A series – that spanned almost 20 years!
It really makes me laugh to think about how much I love the Baby-sitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin. I always wanted to be Kristy. I wanted to be in charge of a club. I wanted a whole bunch of girl friends that were all different and spent tons of time together. I actually started babysitting when I was 11, if you can believe it! I put myself through college being a nanny for two families. And after all these years, you could say I’m in a club of sorts. We at Girls in the STACKS are different indeed.
To say that The Baby-Sitters Club helped shape me into who I am would be an understatement. As I think back, Kristy and the gang are the ones I think about as my first true book love. And from there my love of reading grew. Next week? My love of Sweet Valley High…
Your books are rather heaven sent
and reveal my mind and heart’s true bent
A feminist in spite of all the boys
Crushes, loves and many other joys.
You’ve made high school seem a foreign place,
full of societies, contests and an essay race;
yet in many ways it also sounds familiar-
silly teachers & goofy kids quite unforgettable.
Your family is one that remains so close
Papa, Mama, Julia and Margaret –who always host
those Sunday afternoons: onion sandwiches with the gang,
makes me wish for small town life and silly shenanigans!
But Betsy’s seen the Great World too
and realized that Joe’s her man that’s true.
She’s become quite the writer and despite her flaws,
has two great friends-Tib and Tacy- who’ve seen it all.
I didn’t realize how beloved my books were for many,
until I found the Betsy-Tacy society and heard from plenty
of fans who, like me, have journeyed with Betsy and her pals
up the hill and around Deep Valley for many hours.
Thank you Maude for recreating what you knew
So that we can all enjoy it so much too.
I love the stories you have weaved so well
I’m reader now because your books are swell!
If you love Betsy-Tacy as much as Sarah does-go to the bi-annual convention this year, July 19-22nd. Check it out here.
We want to know – what book/series/author was your first literary love?