Nostalgic Book Fair Favorites: If You Like That, Read This!
Ahhh, October. The time of year when I start desperately longing for scarves, sweaters, and apple cider doughnuts, and also the season when I go back to my personal favorite tweet of all time:
u ever smell the air and it smells like the fourth grade scholastic bookfair on a chilly tuesday in october of 2007— Emily Senesac (@esacagewea) September 21, 2017
YES, I do know this feeling! And I love it! Thinking about this tweet made me think about all of the books that I would covet every year when the book fair came along, whether it was the newest in a series I loved or something I’d only heard about from friends and hadn’t read yet. In celebration of all things autumnal and book fair-y, I’ve searched my memory (and my bookshelves) for my favorite book fair reads of all time, and paired them with a more recent YA! It’s time for us to recapture that chilly-Tuesday-in-October feeling!
If you liked Junie B. Jones, read Romeo & What’s Her Name
I wanted to be Junie B. Jones so badly when I was in elementary school! She was so funny and, as a strictly rule-following kid, I was drawn to her antics—I would never do anything like she did, but I sure wanted to! If you’re craving the same kind of hilarity and school hijinks, Shani Petroff’s novel is perfect for you. When the lead in the school play ends up in the hospital, Emily has to take her place, and let’s just say... hijinks ensue!
If you like Holes, read The Hate U Give
When I was ten, I stole my copy of Holes from my cousin (sorry Laura!) because once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down, and I had the same experience years later with The Hate U Give. Both books deal with difficult issues such as race, class, poverty, and the prison system, albeit in very different ways, and reading them now as complimentary texts is a fascinating and totally compelling experience.
If you liked Bridge to Terabithia, read Five Feet Apart
Ah, this book. The book that broke so many eleven year old hearts into little pieces. The book that made many of us realize that stories don’t always end in happily ever after. I loved it so much. If you’re still craving a little bit of that heartbreak (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love crying over a good book now and then?), look no further than Five Feet Apart, a story of two teens in love—who can’t ever be within six feet of each other, let alone be together forever. If you’re really feeling it, both of these books have equally heart-wrenching movie adaptations. Double feature, anyone? I’ll bring the tissues.
If you liked The Spiderwick Chronicles, read The Gilded Wolves
I was a sucker for puzzle-y type books as a kid, and I’m no different now! I loved the Spiderwick Chronicles for its big cast of characters, fascinating fantastical creatures, and of course the gorgeous illustrations. The Gilded Wolves may not have any interior illustrations, but it’s got a cover to die for, a quirky cast of characters, and a puzzle-like quest through the depths of fantasy Paris. Sign me up!
If you liked A-Z Mysteries, read Truly Devious
The adventures of Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose were some of my favorites as a small child—I loved getting to solve the mystery alongside the three friends, and I’m pretty sure I read every single book in the alphabet. Truly Devious, a YA mystery from author Maureen Johnson, strikes the same chord in me: a compelling mystery, a good cast of characters, and—hopefully!—a satisfying answer to the whodunnit question. Unfortunately, we have to wait to find out—the third and final book in the trilogy doesn’t come out until next January!
If you liked Goosebumps, read The Soul Keepers
I will be the first to admit: I am a chicken. I never really read scary books as a kid, because I preferred to spend my reading time in a world where I wished I could be—not a scary one I needed to escape from! However, Goosebumps was formative for so many people, and it’s just the right level of spooky for a youngster who craves a little bit of a scare. If you’re looking to amp that spooky level up a bit, look no further than Devon Taylor’s duology, starting with The Soul Keepers. It’s creepy, cool, and might make even my adult self want to hide under the covers!