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Friday Fun: What were your most formative young adult reads?

Erica Moss Community Manager Jul 21, 2019

Hello, hello! Friday seems to have gotten away from me, so I suppose we'll call this a Sunday Funday? 🙈

Inspired by a thread I saw recently on Twitter, I'm curious which books you considered staples as a young adult? Mine were definitely:

goosebumps.jpg babysitters club.jpg harry potter.jpg ramona.jpg

Share yours below!


Uh, I already love this discussion. I've been reading tons of books as a kid (and still try to but there is a clear shift in what and how I'm reading nowadays).

Let's just name a few:

  • All Harry Potter books of course, before that:
  • The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings
  • the collected works of Edgar Allan Poe (still fun to read if you want to go to sleep)
  • John Sinclar (German horror detective fiction)
  • Terry Goodkind "The Sword of Truth" series

Most of them have been read multiple times. :D 

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The Lord of the Rings is on my reading list, hope to some day get to it :)

What?! You haven't? Oh my gosh. Jodi, please! :D You're missing out. Do you need some homework to motivate you? 😂Some essay about the history of Khazad-dûm (600 words) or a powerpoint on the history of the Istari (wizards) should be motivating enough 😂

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I know, I know I was almost embarrassed to admit that lol! Too funny! I really must put that higher on my reading list ;)

Like Max Foerster - K15t likes this
Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Jul 22, 2019

@Erica Moss I read all of those you listed above (yes even the baby-sitter's club).

To that list I will also add the following:


  • Bruno and Boots, I believe was more of a Canadian thing
  • Everworld was a great modern day kids being thrown into a fantastical world
  • The Hardy Boys, I think speak for themselves

This is a great post!


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I did read a few of those hardy boys and then the nancy drew mystery ones too :)

Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Jul 22, 2019

The first book, I read by myself when I was six years old was "Mikosch, der kleine Zauberesel", a book about a speaking, magic donkey. I read this over and over again. 

For sentimental reasons, I ordered this book some years ago from a second hand book store, I don't have my old copy anymore.

Then I read tons of a book series called "Die drei Fragezeichen" - detective stories about three school boys investigating in a fictitious town called Rocky Beach in California. They still release new books and especially audio plays. Up to now, there are more than 200 books and plays. I still listen to the air plays and every couple of years, they make a tour with a live audio play in the biggest halls in Germany - next one in November - of course I got tickets already.

I also loved The Hobbit and read "Lord of the Rings" at least five times. 

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Mandy Ross Community Manager Jul 22, 2019

I love this topic - I was such a bookworm kid! 

  • The Roald Dahl classics: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, James and the Giant Peach. 
  • Judy Blume got me thru my tweens - Are You There God, It's Me Margaret, SuperFudge, Blubber
  • Daniel Pinkwater - Alan Mendelson, the Boy from Mars.
  • Harriet the Spy
  • The Boxcar Children series
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Willy Wonka was one of my favourites!

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All of these book titles are so nostalgic! Especially babysitters club, and Judy Bloom, and Beverly Cleary, oh and the apple paperbacks. I don't remember any other books from my young adult life that haven't already been mentioned. So instead I will share books that had an impact from when I was a child. The Serendipity books were my favourite as they had beautiful images and great stories about animals that always had a moral at the end. These were the only books I kept growing up and have them set aside to give my niece when she is a tiny bit older.

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Mandy Ross Community Manager Jul 22, 2019

I loved the Serendipity books too! My favorite was Leo the Lop, the bunny with long ears. 

That was the very first one in the series! I just went and found my Leo the Lop and reread it after all these years. Such a great story about overcoming bullying, and everyone being able to be themselves regardless of their differences. Hard to believe it was published in 1977!

I was a voracious reader when I was a kid, starting at about 3rd grade. (I think I was 10 when I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings for the first time.)  If I were to pick "formative" books I'd say these three had the most influence growing up. (



(Spoiler alert:  Bridge to Terabithia still makes me sad.)

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The Bridge to Terabithia has a beautiful cover and I see it has one a medal. I may see if my library has this book for vacation reading, I love a book that can make you feel, even if that feeling is sadness.

All three of these won Newbery awards for children's lit. (I had a nun as a teacher that only let us take a book out of the library if we also took out one that had a Newbery award....and write a report on it.)

Terabithia is a great summer beach read! 

What a great teacher, I am sure she made such an impact on your learning, given those 3 newbery award winners are your favourite children's books! My library has five copies so I just booked a copy and will read it on the beach during my upcoming vacation starting next week :) Thanks so much for opening my eyes to this one :) 

Just picked up your book at the library this morning and headed straight to the beach. The librarian said she read this 3 times. Can’t believe I missed out on this when I was young 📚 Thanks again Scott!


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This makes me happy :)

Like Darryl St_ Pierre likes this

I just finished the book, my heart hurts but it was worth it as it was such a beautiful read. Thanks again @Scott Theus ! 

Like Scott Theus likes this

Let's make a deal Jodi. I read this book and you will read The Lord of the Rings next. :D Because I think I only know parts of the movie.

Like Jodi LeBlanc likes this
Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Aug 02, 2019

That's an unbalanced deal, @Max Foerster - K15t , "Lord of the Rings" is six times "Bridge to Terabithia"


Like Jodi LeBlanc likes this

That's not unbalanced. I already read LotR three or four times. I'm way ahead! :D 

Like Jodi LeBlanc likes this

Deal @Max Foerster - K15t - I just booked the first book of the trilogy at the library - or do you recommend I start with The Hobbit?

Oh yeah, start with the hobbit. Helps to set the stage and is an easy read! Before you start Tolkien's "adult stuff" with loooots of descriptions etc. :D 

Perfect, I just requested the Hobbit from the library :) I am travelling for 8 weeks starting in September so this challenge will keep me busy in airports and on flights etc :) Thanks!

Like Max Foerster - K15t likes this

I'm very happy to hear that! Please update me on your progress and whether you like it or not! :)

Yes I will keep you updated, it may take me a little while to get through all four books, but I am looking forward to it :)

@Jodi LeBlanc I'm so glad you enjoyed the book! Stories like that are such "precious pain" and tend to stick with you forever. 

Like Jodi LeBlanc likes this

So very true Scott, those are my favourite kind of books. Ones that will stay in our memory forever.

Thomas Deiler Community Leader Jul 22, 2019

The one and only!


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My first Chinese book is the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

The first foreign language book is Sherlock Holmes.

This has a great influence on my later reading habits. I have always liked history and detective novels.


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My favorite books growing up, and probably even still to this day would be ...

  • The Wheel of Time  by Robert Jordan
  • The Shannara Series by Terry Brooks
  • Harry Potter ... of course
  • Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Pretty much any Star Trek novel
  • The Xanth series by Piers Anthony
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I'm a big fan of the Shannara series as well, and I geeked out over the tie-in from the Word and the Void series. 

I loved Xanth growing up too; Castle Roogna remains one of my favorite books. They got really weird after a while though, and Piers Anthony started having a creepy sexual vibe in many of his stories that turned me off. 

Have you read Raymond Feist?

I totally agree about Xanth. The first Xanth books were pretty good. I stopped after Question Quest.

I've not read anything by Raymond Feist. I'll look into him though.

Fadoua Community Leader Jul 23, 2019

I used to love "Les aventures de fantomette". I think I will enjoy reading them again.

Screen Shot 2019-07-23 at 3.32.35 PM.png

Like Erica Moss likes this

These look amazing!

Seeing so many books here I loved when I was a kid, and so many that weren't even around at the time lol. I practically grew up in the town library, and read everything. Well, except the sports books (was bad at sports and didn't want to read about people who weren't bad at sports). I remember Encyclopedia Brown being a fave, though I wonder if I would still appreciate it all these years later.

My elementary school librarian got me hooked up with The Hobbit, and it was all uphill from there.

There are so many YA books that I've read later in life, mostly dystopian fiction that I've discovered because of so many of the movie series that have come out in the last decade or two. And I waited much too long to read the Harry Potter books. I didn't even start until the last two movies were released (and yes, I did read the books before I watched the movies).

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Nice! I am going to attempt to read the Harry Potter series in French this summer (if my library has them all that is). So far I have requested the first one :)

Loving this thread! And I definitely have a few that people have mentioned already and then some odd ones.

  • Anything by Roald Dahl; especially the Twits, I read this to my goddaughter who fell in love with it
  • The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings
  • Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels
  • The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
  • Stephen Kings IT - this is actually a book I still re-read every few years
  • Stephen King The Stand


One that is still on my list though is the Harry Potter books. I am totally late to this party I know :)


Happy Reading everyone!

Like Erica Moss likes this
Zak Laughton Atlassian Team Feb 07, 2020

Definitely going to echo Harry Potter books! I'm not a fan of non-fiction, and when I was obligated to read them in school, I typically found myself reading most of the book, then just forgetting about it and never reading the last few chapters. However, Harry Potter is the only series where I read EVERY page of EVERY book!


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