I’ve always been an avid reader. SSR or DEAR was my favorite time of day during school, and I was known to take a flashlight to bed with me. I desperately wanted to be one of the kids who got to talk about their favorite book on Reading Rainbow and felt like the library was my second home.

And while I had lots of friends growing up, I’m so thankful that I also grew up with Ramona Quimby, Anastasia Krupnik, Homer Price, Gilly Hopkins, and Sheila the Great. These characters helped to mold and shape me and set me on the path towards a life-long love of literacy.

Today I’m paying homage to some of my favorite childhood books and the way they inspired my play, my thoughts, and my imagination. My eternal thanks to the authors and dreamers who helped make me who I am today.

80s books, 80s chapter books for kids, 90s chapter books for kids, chapter books milennials loved

1.You probably spied on your neighbors, taking copious amounts of notes on their every move – perhaps while munching on a tomato sandwich.

Harriet the Spy, Harriet the Spy book cover

(I may or may not still have the notes I took about the neighbor that lived behind us. At the time, I was convinced there was a massive robbery going on. Now, I’m pretty sure it was a group of boys playing paintball….)

2. Spending the night at the Met may or may not be on your ultimate bucket list….

Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Kongisburg, sleeping at the met

Bonus points if you thought about which Historical Period Room you’d sleep in and/or ever daydreamed about getting money for lunch out of a fountain….

3. You desperately wanted to start your very own Babysitter’s Club with your friends.

babysitter's club book, babysitter's club book cover

If you babysat, I’ll bet you had your very own “Kid Kit” and I KNOW you had a favorite babysitter. (Dawn forever!)

4. If your principal was mean, I’ll bet you called them “The Trunchbull” in secret.


5. Things you may have done if you loved Ramona:

Tried to get your friends to crack hard-boiled eggs over their heads

Wanted to make pants for your stuffed animals

Squeezed a whole tube of toothpaste into the sink  

Pulled out an entire box of tissues

Been very curious about what “bluing” was

Tried to figure out a way to add ears or a tail to your signature

Asked to cook dinner all by yourself for your family       Ramona quimby age 8, 80's ramona cover 6. You feel a small twinge of sadness and or regret when you kill a spider (even if they never left you a message about how radiant you are in their web….) If you happen upon a spider’s egg sac, you can’t help but think, “But it was their magnum opus…..”

7. You might have stuck your plastic dolls and figurines in your bathroom’s medicine cabinet…you know…just to “see.” indian in the cupboard book cover 8. You really wanted to make teeny-tiny furniture out of matchboxes, thimbles, acorns, and any small odd/end you could find. The Borrowers, The Littles  
9. You TOTALLY wanted an old box-car to play in.

10. You contemplated eating worms….or tried to convince someone else to do it. I mean, ketchup DOES make everything better…right? how to eat friend worms book cover, 90's book covers *And now as a parent, you can’t quite understand why they let him finish his challenge!!

11. You thought that mice wouldn’t be quite so scary or gross if they really could ride around on motorcycles.

12. You couldn’t wait to choose your own adventure – and then choose it again…..and then again…..and…. Choose Your Own Adventure Series

If you enjoyed this quick trip down memory lane, you may also like:

100 Chapter Books You MUST Read Your Children (featuring some of the titles on this list!)

25 Things Every Baby of the 80’s Wanted for Christmas

10 Things Middle Schoolers Doodled During Class in the 90’s

25 Best Saturday Morning Cartoons