Back to School Bookstack

Yesterday was the first day of classes at my Alma Mater, and all the social media posts I’ve seen this week about starting another school year inspired me to do something different: take a glance back.

Okay, maybe I’m just stubborn and contrary. Either way, it’s inspiration.

New books get a lot of attention. Much like no one wants to be caught wearing last season’s fashion, no one wants to be the last one to read a hot new book. Now, I love finding new books to read, but I honestly couldn’t care less about when they were published. Whether they are brand new or have been out for decades, if they say something relevant, I’m all for it! Whenever something is new it has a special air of anticipation and the potential to be extraordinarily great, but I think a lot of readers miss out on books that they would truly enjoy simply because they refuse to browse older books. Please note, I’m not saying it is bad to buy new books. I’m simply advocating for a more open-minded attitude toward books of all ages.

Rant aside, today I’m highlighting a few books featuring my favorite school-age heroines from my own school days. They are all books that I read growing up, and  I’m pretty sure a lot of preteen or teen girls would find something they like, too.

Note: There are five books in the picture, but in order to keep this post to a reasonable length I’m only going to talk in depth about three of them. 

Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery1. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I can’t talk about my favorite books featuring any sort of protagonist without mentioning Anne Shirley. Anne has been getting a lot of attention recently, and I am 100% behind anything that brings this gem to light in a respectful manner.

Anne Shirley is an orphan who survived a traumatic early childhood by cultivating a strong imagination. Suddenly, there is a light of hope as she is sent to the town of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island (Canada) to be adopted by and work the farm of an elderly brother and sister. Unfortunately, the Cuthberts think that they are adopting a boy. Anne’s presence brings change, adventure, and excitement to her new home, as well as tension and a fair amount of struggle between clashing wills. This is a story of empowerment, imagination, and a young girl coming of age in the late 1800s.

In Between by Jenny b Jones 22. In Between (A Katie Parker Production #1) by Jenny B. Jones

In Between also tells the story of a young girl adjusting to a new family. Our protagonist is Katie Parker, a highly sarcastic preteen whose mom is in jail and dad is MIA. As the story starts, she is on her way to a foster family in the town of In Between, Texas. There are a lot of things Katie doesn’t like about her new life, but she has the strength and wit to push through. She struggles to adjust to her new school and life, but never gives up on who she is or working towards what she wants. Katie must learn who she can trust and where to find her identity – which she does, with a few bumbling adventures along the way.

Becoming Me Diary of a Teenage Girl Caitlin by Melody Carlson3. Becoming Me (Diary of a Teenage Girl, Caitlin #1) by Melody Carlson

The Diary of a Teenage Girl series by Melody Carlson was a huge hit when I was in high school. There are four distinct sub-series, each telling the story of a different girl’s journey through high school. Caitlin O’Connor is the first, and Becoming Me is the book that starts everything. This is an incredible Christian contemporary fiction series; it delves into the social issues teens often face, and highlights girls with very different backgrounds and lives. It explores Christianity in the voice of a young teen, analyzing and explaining important topics plainly. None of the girls are perfect, and they respond differently when confronted with the Gospel. This is a wonderful series for teens who are working out their faith for themselves, who have no idea what they believe, or who want to hear about Christianity from a different angle. Also, the stories are meaningful and fun, not dismissive of common high school events.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look over my shoulder at some of the books I read when I was in school. I strongly believe that everything we read plays a part in making us who we are; some books more than others, but all to some extent.

The remaining books in the picture which I have not discussed are Alienated by Melissa Landers and Saffy’s Angel by Hillary McKay, and they are also definitely worth a read.

Happy Back to School season! If you’re in any level of school, good luck!

If you read any interesting books this school year, or if there is one that sticks out from a past year, please comment on this post and let me know what they are!


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