If I were to list all the books I loved to the point of obsession as a kid, this post would go on forever. Seriously. I was the kind of kid who couldn't sit down at the kitchen table, get in the car, or go out in the yard without a book.
I loved The Westing Game,* The Babysitter's Club, Sweet Valley High,** Nancy Drew, everything by Judy Blume (including Wifey, Smart Women, and Summer Sisters, which I read along with all her YA masterpieces), and the Alice books.
A lesser-mentioned book (lesser-mentioned by me, at least) I adored was Sharon Creech's Walk Two Moons.
School Library Journal's blurb:
An engaging story of love and loss, told with humor and suspense. Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle's mother leaves home suddenly on a spiritual quest, vowing to return, but can't keep her promise. The girl and her father leave their farm in Kentucky and move to Ohio, where Sal meets Phoebe Winterbottom, also 13. While Sal accompanies her eccentric grandparents on a six-day drive to Idaho to retrace her mother's route, she entertains them with the tale of Phoebe, whose mother has also left home. While this story-within-a-story is a potentially difficult device, in the hands of this capable author it works well to create suspense, keep readers' interest, and draw parallels between the situations and reactions of the two girls. Sal's emotional journey through the grieving process-from denial to anger and finally to acceptance-is depicted realistically and with feeling. Indeed, her initial confusion and repression of the truth are mirrored in the book. Overall, a richly layered novel about real and metaphorical journeys.
I think I read and reread it dozens of time. Walk Two Moons is a beautifully told, heartbreaking but funny story with unforgettable characters. My mom took me to see Sharon Creech speak (I think at a CCBC event?) after I'd read it, and the lessons she imparted about writing and literature during her talk are still in my writer's toolbox. If you haven't read Walk Two Moons, put it on the top of your TBR pile.
*Post on Ellen Raskin's MS materials
**Guys, I am SO EXCITED for the SVH ten-years-later book.
Edited to add: Um, I totally forgot to bring up my obsession with historical fiction, like The Witch of Blackbird Pond and all of Ann Rinaldi's books (particularly The Fifth of March). Total history nerd then and now.