Thursday, February 14, 2008

Childhood Reads

From the time I was in 3rd grade until I was in 10th grade, I was going to be a nurse. I didn’t know anyone who was a nurse, but I had read the books. Oh boy, had I read the books. Perhaps my favorite series of books when I was little was the Sue Barton series, made even more challenging by the fact that I couldn’t get my hot little hands on several of them (Superintendent of Nurses and Neighborhood Nurse eluded me until the event of eBay). Sue was real and funny and I wanted to be her. I also loved the Cherry Ames books, and over the past twenty-five years or so (since I was in my teens), I’ve been able to find most of them in used bookstores and on the internet. I’ve never been able to get and read the last three. They are the hardest to find and their eBay prices were more than I was willing to pay. But somehow I stumbled on the fact that the Cherry Ames titles written by Helen Wells have been reprinted (completely ignoring the ones by Julie Tatham but that’s ok, I already have them). I ordered two of the three I'm missing and spent a very nice weekend reading them. For those who care, I thought Ski Nurse Mystery was better than Mystery in the Doctor’s Office but I liked both. It’s all formula fiction, but I ate it up as a child and it was a nice time of nostalgia for the weekend.

An interesting fact: I was taught in library school that Sue Barton, Student Nurse was the first novel intentionally marketed to young adults so when I do teacher in-services I introduce it at the first young adult novel.

Why didn’t I become a nurse? 10th grade biology convinced me that it I needed to look elsewhere. So I went to UNC-CH as an accounting major (it suited my anal-retentive nature) but quickly switched to history and political science. I did volunteer at UNC Hospitals and spent some very rewarding years working with kids with cancer.

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