My summer read-along is the Summer of Shelf Discovery, where we’re reading a chapter of Lizzie Skurnick’s book memoir, Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading and some of the book selections she discusses in that chapter. This is week 7 (we’re more than two/thirds through!), and chapter 7 is “She Comes by It Supernaturally: Girls Who Are Gifted and Talented.”
The books Skurnick writes about in chapter 7 are:
Ghosts I Have Been by Richard Peck. (my review here)
A Gift of Magic by Lois Duncan
The Girl with the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts
Stranger with My Face by Lois Duncan
Hangin’ Out with Cici by Francine Pascal
Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp
Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan
This type of book–girl approaches puberty and comes into “powers” of some sort–was huge with me as a girl. Some memories:
Ghosts I Have Been: sparked obsession with Titanic sinking, which I followed with Peck’s Amanda/Miranda.
A Gift of Magic: the book I flagrantly ripped off in one of my first attempts, ca. 4th grade, to write a novel
The Girl with Silver Eyes: asking my 7th grade science teacher, grumpy Mr. D, about this when we were learning about genetics. He was not amused.
Down a Dark Hall: entered a library picture contest and had it posted on the side of the kids card catalog. (My friend Karen won for her entry on Farmer Boy. She was and is a talented artist.)
Obsessions with Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Isis, Jean Grey/Phoenix, Bionic Woman, even Electra Woman and Dyna Girl.
Without knowing the mythologic implications of a girl coming into powers that frighten men when she hits adolescence, I devoured these books and books like them: And This is Laura, The Girl with Something Extra, Carrie, and the fantasy vein of them–the Anne McCaffrey Pern books. Long before the Spice Girls made it a buzz word, I think these books spoke to me of a Girl Power that I longed for.
What did you read this week, and what did it bring back for you?
Previous Posts on the read along:
Chapter 6 “Girls Gone Wild: Runaways, Left Behinds and Ladies Living off the Fat of the Land”
Chapter 5 You Heard It Here First: Very Afterschool Specials.”
Chapter 4 “Read ‘Em and Weep: Tearing up the Pages”
Chapter 3 Danger Girls: I Know What You Did Last Summer (Reading)”
Chapter 2 “She’s at That Age: Girls on the Verge”
Chapter 1 “Still Checked Out: YA Heroines We’ll Never Return”
How To Read Along