All Women's Talk

7 Tween Series I Read as a Kid ...

By Lyndsie

Even as a kid, I loved to read. I would read anything. If I ran out of books that were totally about my reading level (all those book fairs in school, you know, I was always reading things with titles like, Don't Tell Mom, and I Won't Let Them Hurt You), I was just as happy to turn to some of my favorite series. Before I got into the wildly inappropriate V.C. Andrews series books, I was into some of the more kid-friendly ones. Let's see how many of y'all were with me by taking a look at some of the tween series I read as a kid.

1 The Babysitters Club

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Without question, my favorite tween series I read as a kid was The Babysitters Club. When I was young, about 7 or 8, I didn't notice all the continuity problems (although I still didn't like Dawn). At one time, I owned almost all of these, up to #80 or so, because that's when I got tired of reading them. I'll confess, though, sometimes I pull these ratty old paperbacks out to read them again … but that's another story altogether. By the way, did you know Ann M. Martin only wrote maybe – maybe – 20 books out of the entire series?

2 Fear Street

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I read Goosebumps too, but only for about a year. For one thing, they totally over-saturated the market; there was a new one out every week. For another thing, I read through them too fast! Thirdly, they were not scary; if I wanted a chill, I watched “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” on Snick. Lastly, the characters weren't really connected at all, and at least in the more “mature” Fear Street series, you heard about the same people sometimes. To be honest, I preferred Christopher Pike because he's got some beautiful prose in his books, but he didn't do a lot of series writing. Oh well, R L. Stine was a worthy second.

3 Sweet Valley High

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This is probably the most inappropriate tween series I read as a kid. I found one of the earliest books in the elementary school library, I have no idea what it was doing there, but I was instantly intrigued. I mean, there were kissing in these books! Jessica almost went all the way! I was shocked! I was appalled! I couldn't stop turning the pages! Actually, I would kind of like to read some more of these. Francine Pascal's little enterprise branched out big time, and the University books, the sagas … I don't know, I think I'd like to read those.

4 Sweet Valley Twins

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Now, this is slightly odd. See, I ended up stumbling over SVH before I ever read about the younger version of the twins. It was a few months afterward that my grandma gave me a bunch of Sweet Valley Twins books for Christmas. You can imagine how shocked I was to discover them so innocent. I distinctly remember reading through one book where Jessica decided to make a rival newspaper because she was PO'd at Liz (surprise, surprise), and giggling to myself, “Hahaha, you grow up to be slutty, hahaha!”

5 Sleepover Friends

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This is another series that I read courtesy of my grandma. The books were woefully thin; if you've read them, and go back to flip through them as an adult, you can get through them in 10 minutes, really. Still, I liked these. I wanted a sleepover club, too. I only liked Lauren and Patti, and I didn't really have time to fall in love with the books themselves because there weren't very many before the series went belly up. Still, I remember all four girls fondly, and for years I wanted to make spaghetti sauce with anchovies, just like Stephanie.

6 The Saddle Club

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This is one of the only tween series' I read as a kid that I did not like at all, which is probably why I remember the books. Again, a few of them arrived as gifts from my grandma. Bless her heart, she has a million grandchildren, so I know it was always hard to buy presents, but she knew I liked to read and always tried to come through. She just didn't realize that I'm not the biggest fan of horses, I guess. I know I read almost the whole series, but to be perfectly honest, I remember almost nothing about the books beyond their covers.

7 Sweet Dreams

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The Sweet Dreams series of books is probably responsible for my hidden, sporadic affair with romance novels. I loved these books. They seemed so mature, and I was so sure I'd find a boy just as great as every single guy in every single book. Although I read a lot of them, only a few stand out in my mind – and Cowboy Kisses was one of them! I also read P. S. I Love You to pieces, and I seem to remember one about a girl named Sam, who was scarred by … I can't remember. A surfing accident? An interlude with a dolphin?

So there you have it, some of the tween series I read as a kid. Talk about nostalgia! Looking back, some of these were just awful, and yet I still love them, because they got me through tons of rainy afternoons and endlessly stretching summer days. What kinds of books did you read when you were but a tiny little tween?

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