In the early days of my final semester of my senior year at Kansas State University, I was tagged in a twitter challenge. My editor-in-chief at the K-State Collegian, Kaylie McLaughlin, tagged me in the #7BooksILove challenge. It’s pretty easy, seven book covers in seven days. But, the catch is “no explanations, no reviews – just the cover.” You’re also supposed to challenge someone new each day you participate in the challenge; I didn’t do that because I don’t like to tag people in things on line. However, now that the challenge is behind me. It’s time to give the explanation and reviews for the covers I chose.
For the first day, I didn’t know what to choose, so I picked the cover of the first book I could think of. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell has been one of my favorite books since I read it for the first time in high school. I love Rainbow Rowell for her phenomenal characters, beautiful writing, and the connection to the Midwest that she includes in her work.
Sometime between when I posted on day one and when I posted on day two, my roommate Katie and I had a conversation about the books we loved as kids. I bought May Bird and the Ever After from the Scholastic Book Fair when I was in fourth grade. This is one of those books that I’ve read so many times that the paperback copy I have is literally falling apart. It’s a heartwarming tale about a weird girl and her weird cat, of course I love it.
To continue the theme of childhood favorites that I love, I picked So You Want to be a Wizard? by Diane Duane. I bought this one at a Barnes and Noble in Colorado. I can’t tell you how old I was, probably early middle school. This book made me want to buy a space pen, which I did when I went to the Kennedy Space Center in sixth grade. Another book about a weird girl, this time with magic (what a shock).
I read this book for the first time in fifth grade. Locked in Time, and really anything by Lois Duncan, is a little dark for a ten-year-old, but I didn’t care. I got into Lois Duncan because my older sister, who would’ve been 13 at the time, was reading these books and I would read anything that Jenee did just to prove I could. This led me to read everything by Lois Duncan that my middle school library had, and convince my friends to read them to. The summer after my freshman year of college I bought Lois Duncan’s oeuvre on thrift books and re-read them. They were still just as delightfully dark at 19 as they were at 10.
I really liked Richard Peck when I was younger, and I probably read A Year Down Yonder at least three times, if not more. I picked this book in part because I’m taking a Midwest literature class this semester and my first several days of class made me think of this book.
Weird books about weird girls who liked books were certainly my thing in middle school. The Anybodies and the two books that follow it up, are such quirky stories, but they really come to life. Peter Ferguson’s illustrations are a phenomenal addition to this book and help it stick out in my mind, even though it’s been so long since I’ve read this one.. I’ve seen it compared to Inkheart and I vibe so hard with that comparison because I love that book too.
I wanted to choose the perfect book for my last day of the challenge and Ruby Holler immediately sprung to mind. This book mattered so much to me in early elementary school. I bet I could still walk into Scott City Elementary School and find this book on the shelf. This is another book that I read in part because my older sister, Jenee, had read it. It’s a great book about two siblings finding home, and as my own academic and creative pursuits have constantly led me to consider what home means, I can see why this book was so impactful to me as a kid.
So there you have it. The reason behind the seven books I chose for the #7BooksILove challenge! I’d love to hear about the seven books you love. Let me know here, or find me on Twitter: @bookishlybright