Last week's post about The Babysitter's Club got me thinking - what other book series did I enjoy reading as a kid in the 90s?
What kid from my generation doesn't remember Goosebumps? For some reason, as a kid, I was fascinated by scary stories and RL Stine's book sure did deliver!
I was first introduced to them by my childhood best friend (she always found the best books for us to read!) and got hooked!
These books always had some scary title and cover art and the books always featured a kid or set of kids as the main characters, facing some scary scenario where they had to beat the monster or whatever to stay alive. There was usually some twist at the end of the book too that would blow your mind - like a relative was also a monster who showed their true nature at the end and killed the villain, or the main characters ended up being something completely non-human... I loved the Nickelodeon series "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" and these books were quite similar.
I remember reading Welcome to Dead House, Stay Out of the Basement, Monster Blood, Say Cheese and Die!, Let's Get Invisible, Night of the Living Dummy, The Girl Who Cried Monster, The Haunted Mask, Be Careful What You Wish For..., Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, One Day at Horrorland (I LOVED this one), Monster Blood 2, The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, Go Eat Worms!, The Cuckoo Clock of Doom, Monster Blood 3, The Barking Ghost, The Horror at Camp Jellyjam, Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes, and A Shocker on Shock Street was the last one I read.
Choose Your Own Adventure books were another series I enjoyed. Some were scary too!
For those not familar with these, you would start at the beginning and then after a few pages you had several different options to choose from, each option telling you to flip to a different page in the book. Some of these options led you down different paths, some would end the story. My goal was always to keep the story going.
I remember checking these out of the library on the weekend and spending an entire afternoon reading through them, trying to reach every possible scenario and outcome. What kid didn't love these? I wish they had an adult version - I would still read them!
Another mystery series I really enjoyed were the Nancy Drew series and then the Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys Super Mystery books.
By the time I started reading Nancy Drew, the book series were right around #100, and #103 - Stranger in the Shadows (first image) was one of the first ones I read. These books had so much mystery, most of them were real page turners! Who dun it? Will Nancy be able to solve the mystery without getting in danger?
The Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super Mysteries were fun too as it introduced me to the Hardy Boys - the male versions of Nancy. I remember these books were longer though and they seemed a bit more mature too, as I remember my parents being wary of letting me read them. I didn't mind though - I loved the mystery and danger aspects of the books.
While I never read all the books, I did go back read some of the early Nancy Drew mysteries. My school library also carried a lot of the early Nancy Drew books, as well as some of the Hardy Boys books too so I even read some of those.
When I was in grade school, I wasn't allowed to read Sweet Valley High because well, it was about high school girls and my parents thought I was too young to read about them and what goes on in high school. The acceptable alternative though was to read the Sweet Valley Twins series.
While it still follows twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield - the same twins in the high school books - this spin-off takes place when the girls are in junior high, starting in 6th grade. They have the struggles of trying to each be their own person, despite being twins, having friendship troubles, school troubles... they were much more relatable to my grade school self that the original series probably would have been.
I never read all the books - I probably owned just a handful of them, but I enjoyed reading them!
While I mentioned them before, another series I enjoyed reading was the Silver Blades books.
These books followed a group of friends who were figure skaters and aspired to one day compete in the Olympics. While the books were centered around figure skating, storylines involved the girls having friendship problems, having crushes on boys and dealing with the mean girls at the rink. I
only read about the first 10 books, as they started taking too long to put out the next one, but I guess the series ended up with 23 total, several of which where recognized by the USFSA.
The Boxcar Children was a series I was introduced to at school.
The series follows siblings Henry, Jessie, Violet, Benny and their dog Watch. After their mom and dad die, their grandfather gains custody of them, but they soon runaway fearing that he's a mean guy. The find a home in an old boxcar and furnish it with items they find from the dump. Henry, being the oldest, finds work helping a local doctor in order to help pay for food. Eventually they don't live in the boxcar forever - they learn who their grandfather is and decide he's not so mean, but he relocates their boxcar so they can still play in it.
Throughout the series, the children have numerous adventures and even solve mysteries. I remember a bunch of these as a kid, borrowing them both from school and the church library too.
What book series did you read regularly as a kid?