Booking Mama’s Shelf Discovery Challenge

Lizzie I have never entered a blog reading challenge before. I don't like to feel constrained in deciding what I am going to read next, and I don't get to enough books that I feel like I can join challenges that have deadlines and expectations about how many books you have to finish. At any given moment, there are a lot of compelling challenges happening around the book blogosphere, but I just haven't been tempted to join one.

Until now.

Booking Mama is hosting the Shelf DIscovery Challenge, which asks participants to read the collection of essays in Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading - a book by Lizzie Skurnick about the books that changed our lives as teenagers – and to choose six books featured in Shelf Discovery to read over the next six months.

How exciting to revisit some of those YA books that I treasured and dogeared as a young reader in the 70s! (OK, and early 80s). I scanned through the table of contents (I haven't read the book yet, but I do have it thanks to HarperCollins (hi FTC!)), and there are so many to choose from.

Should I read one of the books that I read OVER AND OVER again as a kid, that I have practically memorized? Like Harriet the Spy or The Westing Game or All of a Kind Family? My daughters have been listening to All of a Kind Family on tape in the car, and I swear I can recite what happens in The Westing Game from memory. I think I will add Harriet the Spy to the list – I just bought it for my daughters a few months ago. Maybe we will read it together.

How about the ones about being a teenage girl that I read 30 years ago, but which I don't really remember that well… like The Cat Ate My Jumpsuit or Deenie or Jacob Have I Loved or Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself?

Then there are the really sad ones, like Bridge to Terabithia (which I LOVED), or Island of the Blue Dolphins or Summer of My German Soldier?

Or I could go for the sci-fi books I loved when I read, but which I would never read now? Like A Wrinkle In Time or Ghosts I Have Been?

The rules of the challenge say that I have to choose 6 books now, but I can always revise the list as the challenge goes on. (And, of course, I am not limited to 6!). So, here is my initial list, which I am sure will change after I read Shelf Discovery:

1. The Cat Ate My Jumpsuit, by Paula Danziger (I remember loving this one).

2. Forever, by Judy Blume, which I don't think I ever read all the way through, only the dirty parts at summer camp when the counselors weren't looking.

3. Ghosts I Have Been, by Richard Peck, which I don't think I read.

4. Jacob Have I Loved, by Katherine Paterson, which I know I read, and which is about twins, and because I don't think I can stomach Bridge to Terabithia.

5. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene, which I never read.


6. Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh.

I am excited for this challenge! Click over to Booking Mama's post to see who else is participating – and consider joining it yourself! (You don't have to have a blog to participate.) You can also follow the tweets at @bookingmama, #shelfdiscovery.