If you were reading books as a kid in the 90s, then more than likely it was being forced. They were always a reading list (ESPECIALLY over the summer), or a book report was due. But, more times than some of ya'll might be willing to admit, we ended up loving those books. Others we've tried to obliterate from our memories. I do apologize if any of those titles that still haunt you to this day end up on this list.
Call It Courage (1990)
Image: Call It Courage: Armstrong Sperry: 9780689713910: Amazon.com: Books www.google.com
Afraid of the sea after witnessing his mother drown, a boy brings shame upon his father and tribe. Finally pushed to the limit, he takes off one night in a canoe and overcomes his fear of the sea. Faced with many life-threatening encounters while lost at sea, he proves, most importantly, to himself that he has always had the courage inside of him to face his fears.
Image: Goosebumps and Censorship - Intellectual Freedom Blog www.google.com
Seriously, though, the best Goosebump books were the ones where you were able to choose your own endings, amirite?
The Baby-Sitters Club (1986)
Image: Scholastic's Great Idea: Updating The Baby-Sitter's Club www.google.com
My very first chapter books, I started reading The Baby-Sitters Club in kindergarten (my reading level was just a little advanced, NBD), and for every birthday and Christmas until well into middle school, my only requests were The Baby-Sitters Club books.
The Sign of the Beaver (1983)
Image: The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare: Yearling ... www.google.com
The Boxcar Children (1942)
Image: The Boxcar Children Collection - Audiobook | Listen Instantly! www.google.com
My classmates and I were introduced to this series in the 2nd grade. Our teacher would read to us after recess when we were all coming down from that playground high, and it's possibly one of the best memories I have of school.
Image: Amazon.com: Homecoming (9780449702543): Cynthia Voigt: Books www.google.com
One of my favorite books and series ever, Homecoming was the first of seven novels in the Tillerman Cycle. Dicey was my hero, one of the first female characters I came across that I could relate to because she was nothing like the other girls. Independent, fierce, and a bit of a tomboy, she handled her family's shit like a boss and made me feel less alone with my own family's dysfunction. The rest of the series follows the Tillerman siblings as they grow, as well as friends they've made over the years: Dicey's Song, Seventeen Against the Dealer, Solitary Blue, Sons from Afar, The Runner, and Come a Stranger.
Image: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor | Mr. David López www.google.com
Sometimes I wonder if anyone else read this book, and then I'll come across a Beagle with the name of Shiloh, and the world feels like it's still spinning.
Image: Amazon.com: Hatchet (9781416936473): Gary Paulsen: Books www.google.com
The Giver (1993)
Image: Amazon.com: The Giver (9780385732550): Lois Lowry: Books www.google.com
The Henry Huggins, Ramona and Beezus Quimby Series (1950)
Image: Buy Henry Huggins: Henry and Ribsy 3 by Beverly Cleary (1954 ... www.google.com
Beverly Cleary is the beautiful soul that gave us Henry Huggins and Ribsy, as well as Henry's friend and neighbor, Beezus, and her little sister, Ramona.
Judy Blume books
Image: Seattle Writer Reflects On How Judy Blume's Books Inspired Her To ... www.google.com
If you're a true 90s kid, then the name Judy Blume makes you think of Are You There God? It's me, Margaret, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and my personal favorite, Superfudge.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (1981)
Image: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz | Scholastic www.google.com
These were the most terrifying books a kid in the 90s could own. And not only did we shit ourselves the first time reading it, but we also tortured ourselves by reading it over and over again, though I couldn't tell you why. And then someone thought it would be a brilliant idea to make TWO MORE shit inducing books that, shockingly, we bought and read. More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (1984) and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones (1991) were just two more reasons to sleep with the lights on and race up the stairs in the dark, risking our lives and teeth lest we miscalculate one step over the chance that something was going to come from the shadows and possess us.
Sideways Stories from Wayside School (1978)
Image: Sideways Stories from Wayside School - Wikipedia www.google.com
If every school were like Wayside, we'd be much happier adults.
Maniac Magee (1990)
Image: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli www.google.com
Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974)
Image: Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings: Shel Silverstein ... www.google.com
Nobody could make you read and love poems like Shel Silverstein. And nothing was more exciting knowing there were more poems waiting for you in A Light in the Attic (1981) and Falling Up (1996)
Books from Roald Dahl
Image: Roald Dahl Books List • Roald Dahl Facts www.google.com
James and the Giant Peach (1961), Matilda (1988), Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970), The BFG (1982); if you were a kid of the 90s and hadn't READ any of these (watching the movies doesn't count), then you bring much shame upon the rest of us. Poser.
I Spy Books (1992)
Image: Amazon.com: Scholastic reader, Level 1: I Spy 4 Picture Riddle ... www.google.com
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (1992)
Image: The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales: Jon Scieszka ... www.google.com
As soon as I'm done writing this article, I'm heading to the closest bookstore that carries this book.
Adventures of the Bailey School Kids (1990)
Image: The Adventures Of The Bailey School Kids #1: Vampires Don't Wear ... www.google.com
American Girl (1986)
Image: The American Girls Collection: Historical Fiction ~ Samantha ... www.google.com
Tuck Everlasting (1985)
Image: ELM 335: Tuck Everlasting, Written by Natalie Babbit www.google.com
This ended up on my summer reading list, and I finished it in a few hours. And then I read it again, and again, for the rest of the summer. I was already obsessed with the idea of living forever, and then this story of a family that actually can fall into my lap? The universe was giving me a sign; my 3rd-grade self was convinced. And my 34-year-old self still is.
The Phantom Tollbooth (1961)
Image: Tick-Tock (The Phantom Tollbooth) - Modern Eden Gallery www.google.com
Where the Red Fern Grows (1961)
Image: Where the Red Fern Grows | Text Alternatives www.google.com
Another book that was on my summer reading list, I had never forgotten how I felt when I was first reading this book. It still has the same effect on me as an adult (yes, I still read it…sometimes, not often, just…like, every now and then. It's not that weird. It's really not).
The Secret Garden (1911)
Image: Amazon.com: The Secret Garden (Illustrated and Annotated ... www.google.com
Bridge to Terabithia (1977)
Image: I'm still not over... The ending of 'Bridge to Terabithia' | EW.com www.google.com
This sits at the very top pf my favorite childhood books. I think it may have also been one of the first times I hated a book that I also loved so much because the author did a thing to one of the characters, and how are you supposed to forgive them and keep reading the words they wrote after they've betrayed you?
The Great Gilly Hopkins (1978)
Image: The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson: by Katherine ... www.google.com
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (1971)
Image: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien www.google.com
Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960)
Image: Review of “Island of the Blue Dolphins" by Scott O'Dell | Rhapsody ... www.google.com
Indian in the Cupboard (1980)
Image: The Indian in the Cupboard: Lynne Reid Banks: 9780375847530 ... www.google.com
Snow Treasure (1942)
Image: Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan www.google.com
I remember this was a class book (meaning we all read it during class) and I was so thrown by the fact that this was possibly based on true events.
Number the Stars (1989)
Image: Number The Stars (Hardcover) (Lois Lowry) : Target www.google.com
Walk Two Moons (1994)
Image: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech www.google.com
Lily's Crossing (1997)
Image: Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff | Scholastic www.google.com
The Witch of Blackbird Pond (1958)
Image: The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Lexile® Find a Book | MetaMetrics Inc. www.google.com