Summer of “Shelf Discovery”: (Re-)Reading Teenage Classics

Shelf Discovery by Lizzie Skurnick

I’ve posted on this project already, but this is simpler, I think. If you’re interested in the summer project, email me or say so in the comments if you haven’t, yet.

Lizzie Skurnick’s book Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading is a reading memoir about the books she read growing up, by authors like Judy Blume, Lois Duncan, Madeleine L’Engle, V.C. Andrews, and the joys of re-reading them as an adult.

Each of the 10 chapters has a theme and several books that Skurnick revisits (see list below.) This summer, a group of us is going to read a chapter a week from Shelf Discovery and ONE book (you choose) related to that chapter. Each Monday starting June 11, 2012 and ending August 20, 2012, we’ll “meet” here to discuss the chapter and books in the comments.

The challenge is to read just a chapter and a short book a week. (You can comment even if you’re not reading the book/s. I bet you remember many of the books we’ll discuss, or can find modern equivalents.) As an incentive for those who read Shelf Discovery plus a related book a week, I’ll have a drawing at the end for a prize pack including a copy signed by the author!

Summer of Shelf Discovery Schedule:

Monday June 11
Chapter 1 “Still Checked Out: YA Heroines We’ll Never Return”, and pick one:

1 Starring Sally J Freedman as Herself by Blume, Judy
1 Danny, the Champion of the World by Dahl, Roald
1 The Great Brain by Fitzgerald, John D.
1 Harriet the Spy by Fitzhugh, Louise
1 From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by Konigsburg, E.L.
1 A Wrinkle in Time by L’Engle, Madeleine
1 Farmer Boy by Wilder, Laura Ingalls
1 Ludell by Wilkinson, Brenda

Monday June 18
Chapter 2 “She’s at That Age: Girls on the Verge”, and pick one:

2 Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Blume, Judy
2 Blubber by Blume, Judy
2 Tiger Eyes by Blume, Judy
2 Then Again, Maybe I Won’t by Blume, Judy
2 Sister of the Bride by Cleary, Beverly
2 Cat Ate My Gymsuit by Danziger, Paula
2 The Long Secret by Fitzhugh, Louise
2 A Ring of Endless Light by L’Engle, Madeleine
2 And You Give Me a Pain, Elaine by Pevsner, Stella
2 Caroline by Roberts, Willo Davis
2 To Take a Dare by Zindel, Paul and Dragonwagon, Crescent

Monday June 25
Chapter 3 “Danger Girls: I Know What You Did Last Summer (Reading)”, and pick one:

3 Secret Lives by Amoss, Berthe
3 I Am the Cheese by Cormier, Robert
3 Daughters of Eve by Duncan, Lois
3 Summer of Fear by Duncan, Lois
3 The Arm of the Starfish by L’Engle, Madeleine
3 Dragons in the Waters by L’Engle, Madeleine
3 The Westing Game by Raskin, Ellen
3 The Grounding of Group 6 by Thompson, Julian F.

Monday July 2
Chapter 4 “Read ‘Em and Weep: Tearing Up the Pages”, and pick one:

4 The Gift of the Pirate Queen by Giff, Patricia Reilly
4 Summer of My German Soldier by Green, Bette
4 Beat the Turtle Drum by Greene, Constance C.
4 Jacob Have I Loved by Paterson, Katherine
4 Bridge to Terabithia by Paterson, Katherine
4 A Day No Pigs Would Die by Peck, Robert Newton
4 Tell Me if the Lovers are Losers by Voigt, Cynthia
4 The Pigman by Zindel, Paul

Monday July 9
Chapter 5 “You Heard It Here First: Very Afterschool Specials”, and pick one:

5 Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
5 Deenie by Blume, Judy
5 It’s Not the End of the World by Blume, Judy
5 Are You in the House Alone? by Peck, Richard
5 Don’t Hurt Laurie! by Roberts, Willo Davis

Monday July 16
Chapter 6 “Girls Gone Wild: Runaways, Left Behinds and Ladies Living Off the Fat of the Land”, and pick one:

6 Understood Betsy by Fisher, Dorothy Canfield
6 Julie of the Wolves by George, Jean Craighead
6 The Endless Steppe: A Girl in Exile by Hautzig, Esther
6 Island of the Blue Dolphins by O’Dell, Scott
6 The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Speare, Elizabeth George
6 Homecoming by Voigt, Cynthia
6 Little House on the Prairie by Wilder, Laura Ingalls

Monday July 23
Chapter 7 “She Comes by It Supernaturally: Girls Who Are Gifted and Talented”, and pick one:

7 Jane-Emily by Clapp, Patricia
7 A Gift of Magic by Duncan, Lois
7 Stranger with my Face by Duncan, Lois
7 Down a Dark Hall by Duncan, Lois
7 Hangin’ Out with Cici by Pascal, Francine
7 Ghosts I Have Been by Peck, Richard
7 Girl with the Silver Eyes by Roberts, Willo Davis

Monday July 30
Chapter 8 “Him She Loves: Romanced, Rejected, Affianced, Dejected”, and pick one:

8 Forever by Blume, Judy
8 Fifteen by Cleary, Beverly
8 To All My Fans, With Love, From Sylvie by Conford, Ellen
8 The Moon by Night by L’Engle, Madeleine
8 In Summer Light by Oneal, Zibby
8 Happy Endings are All Alike by Scoppetone, Sandra
8 My Darling, My Hamburger by Zindel, Paul

Monday August 6
Chapter 9 “Old Fashioned Girls: They Wear Bonnets, Don’t They?” Pick one:

9 Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Aiken, Joan
9 An Old Fashioned Girl by Alcott, Louisa May
9 The Secret Garden by Burnett, Frances Hodgson
9 A Little Princess by Burnett, Frances Hodgson
9 Belles on the Their Toes by Carey, Ernestine Gilbreth
9 Cheaper by the Dozen by Gilbreth, Jr, Frank B.
9 All of a Kind Family by Taylor, Sydney

Monday August 13
Chapter 10 “Panty Lines: I Can’t Believe They Let Us Read This”, and pick one:

10 My Sweet Audrina by Andrews, V.C.
10 Flowers in the Attic by Andrews, V.C.
10 Clan of the Cave Bear by Auel, Jean
10 Wifey by Blume, Judy
10 Domestic Arrangements by Klein, Norma

Monday August 20: Discuss the book as a whole, and the re-reading/reminiscing experience.

Let me know if you have any questions!

7 Responses to “Summer of “Shelf Discovery”: (Re-)Reading Teenage Classics”

  1. Jennifer Reese Says:

    I am thinking about ditching all the stuff I should do today, going back to bed, and reading girlhood classics. I can’t decide which books to read!

  2. girldetective Says:

    Hey, why not celebrate your lack of goats! I’d start with stuff from the beginning. Wrinkle in Time, in fact, does seem a fabulous starting point. Tesseracts! Mrs. Who and Mrs. Whatsit!

  3. Jennifer Reese Says:

    Ah, I still have goats, but only four now, not seven. I am reading Harriet the Spy, though my reading of it has been polluted by the 1990s movie version.

  4. girldetective Says:

    Jennifer, I think this is a great example of why it is sometimes wise to avoid movies of books we love. A friend of mine refuses to see Atonement. I saw the movie of I Capture the Castle and it made me question that I’d loved the book. I need to get my hands on a copy of Harriet and the sequel, the Long Secret.

  5. Jennifer Reese Says:

    I can only see Rosie O’Donnell when Ole Golly’s name comes up, and my mind keeps wandering to Michelle Trachtenberg in Gossip Girl. SAD. I had forgotten just how incredibly harsh Harriet was in her diaries. Makes me feel much better about diaries of my youth.

  6. Amy @ Hope Is the Word Says:

    I’m in. I just ordered Shelf Discovery, so I’ll be a bit behind. Sounds fun!

  7. Amy @ Hope Is the Word Says:

    Here’s my “I’m in” post–>