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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Flashback: 15 Old-School Books You Should Read Again Read more

Courtesy of  Jessica Booth

Flashback: 15 Old-School Books You Should Read Again

 by Jessica Booth

It should be no secret that we’re huge readers over here at Personally, as a kid, I spent hours and hours reading. Growing up, my reading material was all classic ’90s (obviously): The Babysitters ClubSweet Valley HighGoosebumps. Just hearing the names of those books makes me smile, and I’m sure they make you smile too. Even if you didn’t actually read them, I’m sure you saw the various TV shows and movies that came from some of them.
So we’ve rounded up some of the most popular books that we read in the ’90s (including some older favorites!) for your reading pleasure. One look at them, and I’m pretty sure you’ll want to read them all over again! Check ‘em out and let us know: which of these was your favorite?

The Babysitters Club series by Ann M. Martin
90s books
In my (very biased) opinion, The Babysitter’s Club might have been the best book series to come out of the ’90s. I mean, come on. Not only was basically every type of girl represented, but their lives were so relatable! And it spawned a thousand real-life babysitters clubs (including my own, which never flourished as well as I hoped). BSC was the best.

Ramona by Beverly Clearly

All of Beverly Cleary’s books are amazing, but Ramona stands out.  That sassy little girl was just so much fun to read about! These books might be geared towards girls a lot younger than me, but I would still probably read them even today – their classics!

The Bailey School Kids by Marcia T. Jones and Debbie Dadey

These were kind of the coolest mystery books ever. Way before we were obsessed with vampires and all sorts of mythical creatures, we had The Baily School Kids. Each book gave you a different seemingly innocent character who was actually a vampire or Frankenstein, or something else crazy like that. How cool?!

Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine

Truth: reading a Goosebumps books sometimes scared me so much, I had serious nightmares and couldn’t sleep. Now that that embarrassing confession is out of the way, let’s just say that Goosebumps was amazing. There’s really no arguing that.

Friendship Bracelets by Klutz

Okay, I’m kind of cheating, because this isn’t actually a novel, but this Friendship Bracelets book was so super popular back in the ’90s that I had to include it. Friendship bracelets are having a huge moment right now, and back then, making your own was the cool thing to do, and everyone had stacks of them on the wrists. And this handy book showed you how to make them! Embroidery floss FTW!

Anything By Roald Dahl

MatildaThe BFGThe WitchesFantastic Mr. Fox… the list could go on and on and on. A lot of Roald Dahl’s books may have been published before the ’90s, but they were still super popular during the ’90s. I mean, they’re still super popular now! They’re classic books and no matter what age group they were written for, they will always have a special place in my heart… and I’m sure yours also.

The Berenstain Bears series by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Okay, yes, The Berenstain Bears is a children’s book… but how could this list be complete without them?! This was such an amazing series, and I know I’m not the only one who had stacks upon stacks of them all over my room.

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

The Amelia Bedelia series is pretty endless, since it’s still being written now (although not by the original author). Another classic kid’s book, Amelia Bedelia always ended in some delicious baked goods. Who wouldn’t love that?

Animorphs series by K. A. Applegate

Personally, I was never really into science fiction – but I made an exception for Animorphs. Kids who could morph into any animal they touched? I mean, come on, that’s really freakin’ cool.

Here’s To You, Rachel Robinson by Judy Blume

Judy Blume obviously has a TON of books to choose from (and she’s still writing new ones!), but this is a favorite published in 1993. Her books have always been so relatable!

Chicken Soup for The Soul series

Aw, remember all of the Chicken Soup books? There were so many! Everyone went through a period where they read these.

The Friendship Ring series by Rachel Vail

I almost forgot about this series until I saw this picture. OMG, I loved these. Not only were the stories addicting, but these books were tiny enough to fit in any purse, backpack, whatever.

I Spy

I Spy books were so much fun… kids could be entertained for hours looking at them. Luckily, there were tons of them, so they never got boring.

Amelia’s Notebook by Marissa Moss

After reading Amelia’s Notebook, was anyone else inspired to create their own super-amazing diary, full of gorgeous hand-drawn pictures and tons of fun little add-ins? No? Just me? Well, read it again, then – I think you’ll change your mind.

The Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal

Okay, so maybe I lied before… Sweet Valley High might be one of the best series to come out of the ’90s. Jessica and Elizabeth were only the coolest twins ever, no matter what kind of trouble they were getting themselves into. I (obviously) liked Jessica better, but everyone had a favorite. These were so juicy! I wish they would make an updated TV series about them now.
Which of these was your favorite? What did we miss?

About Jessica Booth

Before getting her job at, Jessica interned for Us Weekly magazine and, which helped her meet and interview some of her favorite celebrities. When she's not working, Jessica enjoys dreaming about Ryan Gosling, watching a lot of movies and TV, discovering funny Tumblr blogs, being a vegetarian and cuddling with her kitten. She also has an unhealthy obsession with her iPhone. You can follow her on Twitter @Jboothyy;

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Courtesy of Jessica Booth

Thank you!!

Monday, October 1, 2012



Authors are often advised to write about what they know best. I usually follow that rule and write about stories that are close to my heart. The story I am about to tell you, however, fell in my lap unexpectedly. To be accurate, it fell into the trunk of our car.
It was a sunny day when my husband and I visited my father in a Florida hospital. Leaving the hospital, my husband pulled his car in front of the entrance and started packing our belongings in the trunk. While I waited, I stood on the sidewalk and, shading my eyes with my palm, looked out at the coast, which was bathed in brilliant light.
The sun was bright and intense, shedding dazzling sunbeams on sparkling water. Caught in the net of the teasing sunrays, the waves lapping on the shore gleamed with unusual colors. Covered with crystal sparkles, a beautiful rainbow arched above the nearby bridge. From afar, it looked as if it were trapped under heavy layers of water. Amazed at the beautiful view, I lifted my eyes to the cloudless sky.
Suddenly, a little mouse slid down the canopy that covered the hospital entrance and fell inside our car trunk. Stunned, I closed my mouth with my hand. My husband looked at me in disbelief. Before we knew it, the unwelcome guest had disappeared between our luggage. Laughing, I could hardly believe my good luck. A story about a hospital mouse was unfolding in front of my eyes.
At first, we tried to scare the little intruder out by making noise and moving the luggage, but the sneaky mouse disappeared without a trace. Upset, Mr. D, who is highly allergic to any hairy creature, opened all the car doors and unpacked the trunk. Watching him, I saw an opportunity for a story.
At that time, I did not know much about the life of mice and had no idea why they would choose a hospital as their home. The concept of a story about a tiny adventurer immediately came to mind. A hospital mouse had decided to go on vacation!
With no other choice, we drove back to New Jersey with the mouse in our trunk. Watching my husband traveling for eighteen hours with a mouse inside our car is another story. Someday I will make a comic book about a shrewd mouse and the annoyed Mr. D.
Though we laughed all the way home, my husband also jumped at the slightest noise. Besides being allergic to animal hair, my husband was also apparently scared of mice. Sneezing nonstop, he finally made it home. As he parked in the garage, he opened the trunk and left our car and its hidden occupant to the cat.
I felt bad for the little mouse, whom I had already named Carlo. In my mind, the Florida mouse resembled one of our friends, who was born in the same hospital our little guest came from. He later married a beautiful red-haired wife and has three red-haired daughters. What a beautiful family of mice, I thought. I could not sleep that night. The story about a Florida mouse stuck in my mind.
In the morning, we carefully opened the garage door. Afraid of the mouse, my husband armed himself with a broom, but I stopped him from entering the garage. I wanted to see our little guest alive. I quietly walked to the garage door and looked inside through the narrow window.
To my surprise, Carlo was sitting on the edge of the car trunk staring at our cat, Nyda, who was lying on top of the car. They appeared to be having a pleasant conversation. I quietly walked away.
Cooking dinner in the kitchen, I glanced outside through the window. The cat was leaving the garage. Shortly afterwards, Mr. D. walked by the window with a broom in his hands. I wanted to stop him and quickly opened the garage door. Carlo the mouse was sitting on the doorstep, as if he were waiting for me to let him into the kitchen.
Scared, I slammed the door and ran to the window. Carlo left the garage in a hurry and ran toward the lake. What happened next was pure imagination. In the next few days, I wrote the story “Carlo the Mouse on Vacation” and let my husband read it. As he did, he laughed and insisted that I publish it.
After I published “Carlo the Mouse on Vacation,” some readers wanted to know what type of life Carlo lived in the hospital before he fell into our trunk. I thought about it for a while, and then decided to go back in time and write another six funny stories about Carlo’s life inside the hospital walls. I then connected them to the existing book, “Carlo the Mouse on Vacation.” In addition, I included an extra story about how Carlo met his favorite cook, “Bam.”
In December, this project will move to the illustration stage in the publishing process. It will take a year to publish the first four books. I am very excited about this project and can’t wait to introduce you to the mischievous Carlo the mouse as a baby and a teen.
The manuscripts are ready, and I am now working on the next few books about Carlo the Mouse in Paris. Many of you who read “Carlo the Mouse on Vacation” remember that the story ended with Carlo trapped inside a pizza box, which was handed to a man in black.

          Here is a sneak peek for you: The next few books will take place on the streets of Paris and will be very intriguing. Spies … betrayal … and a war between international mice… Mr. D. and Carlo will never get along.
 I am dying to tell you more, but this is as much as I am allowed to reveal. I hope you understand.
Please follow Carlo the Mouse on Twitter at @carlothemouse and you will discover more.
Like Carlo the Mouse Facebook page

© All Rights Reserved by Mrs.D.Books.

Carlo the Mouse, Book 1: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse  is PUBLISHED!

Grab your boots and hold on to your hat, because you are in for an exciting trip! The new series of Carlo the Mouse has been born. Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse is the first in a series of books on Carlo’s adventures. Each book will give readers an entertaining look into the life of a little mouse born inside a hospital’s walls. Clever, curious, and very impatient, Carlo the mouse dreams of the world outside the hospital. His parents teach him how to follow the rules and how to survive on his own, but Carlo’s insatiable desire for adventure constantly gets him in trouble. Will the little adventurer manage to survive when he leaves home? You’ll find out in Mrs. D.’s next books on Carlo the mouse. Let your imagination soar in this full series of Carlo’s adventures!

 Carlo the mouse, Book 2: Now We’re Talking!

Listen to the news and keep your eyes open, because a curious little mouse has had his wish come true! Now We’re Talking! is the second in a series of books on Carlo’s adventures. This nosy little mouse leaves home for the first time to explore life inside the hospital. But Hospitalia is a strange place, and there’s no place for him to hide. Cold, sterile, and unfriendly, the hospital looks nothing like Carlo had imagined while sitting at home. Before he knows what’s up, the kitchen staff are on his tail. Will the hungry mouse manage to trick the hospital manager, cook, and exterminator without breaking the rules his parents taught him? You’ll find out in Mrs. D.’s next book on Carlo the Mouse, What’s Going On? If this clever mouse outwits you, don’t get discouraged. Keep reading and follow Carlo’s adventures!

Carlo the Mouse, Book 3: What's Going On?

Trouble! Where did that ravenous little mouse come from who's disturbing the peace in the hospital? What's Going On? is the third in a series of books on the adventures of Carlo the mouse. Carlo knew he was not supposed to go near the manager's office, but when the kitchen staff were chasing him, he made a choice that started a war. This is only Carlo's first time out, and already everyone is after him. Imagine what could happen when he learns his way around the hospital! He likes to eat, and is growing like a mushroom after the rain. Will this be the end of our curious little mouse, or will Carlo manage to outsmart the clever manager, angry cook, and sneaky exterminator so he can go home safely? You'll find out in Mrs. D.'s next books on Carlo the mouse. Remember, Hospitalia is a strange place .

Carlo the Mouse, Book 4: Rules Are for a Reason
( Coming soon! )

More trouble for the Most Wanted Mouse! The hospital cook, manager, and exterminator have proclaimed war against the mice of the world! Rules Are for a Reason is the fourth in a series of books on Carlo the mouse. Always hungry, the curious little mouse snoops underneath each door, driving the hospital staff crazy. He’s constantly breaking the rules his parents taught him. One morning, Carlo wakes up sick. Horrified, he leaps from his bed and looks in the mirror—and finds he looks like a meatball! Fly disease? Mousesclerosis? Chickenpoxsclerosis? Sounds long! What sickness did the carefree mouse catch while exploring the hospital? Will Carlo turn into a chicken … or a frog … or maybe a prince? You’ll find out in the next book on Carlo’s adventures: Nothing Is Safe in a Mouse’s Life. If you want to know if Carlo will learn to follow the rules Papa Mouse and Mama Mouse taught him, you must read every day and follow your parents’ rules. More exciting adventures of Carlo the Mouse await you!

Carlo the Mouse, Book 5: Nothing is Safe in a Mouse's Life
( Coming soon! )

A whisker-licking story of one kind little mouse! Who would ever suspect that Carlo would meet Fidel the cat inside the hospital? Who would ever believe that the tricky young mouse would outsmart the old cat? Who would ever imagine that for the first time in his life, the daring mouse would venture away from his home and find himself outside the hospital? Homeless, cold, and hungry, Carlo and his family face attacks from vicious birds. Throughout his dangerous journey, Carlo finds adventure aplenty. He learns about life outside the hospital and the dangers that mice face on a daily basis. Determined to return home safely, Carlo has grown up and finally understands why he must obey the rules his parents taught him. Follow the unexpected adventures of this bold little mouse!

Carlo the Mouse, Book 6: It's my life!
( Coming soon! )

Once a mouse falls in love, almost anything can happen! His heart skips a beat! He can't eat, drink, or sleep! He is tossing in bed, losing rest and extra fat! He bleaches his brown hair and becomes a blond mouse! What is going on with Carlo? Papa Mouse is distressed. Is he getting a heart attack? Carlo looks like a bleached punk! Mama Mouse is in shock. Their little mouse has grown up, and he is in love with a cute mouse. He is getting married, dear friends! The young mouse gets his wish. He soon has a pretty wife and a bunch of kids, but he still dreams of seeing the world. Life is short, and a day can hold many adventures. Sliding off a roof, Carlo falls inside an open car trunk . Kick off your boots, hold your hats, and enjoy this book, my little friends. 

Join Carlo the Mouse on Vacation in this delightful original picture book.

Carlo the Mouse on Vacation

A funny story, full of the adventures and troubles of Carlo the mouse, who lives a simple life in a Florida hospital but always dreams of greater things. In this vibrant picture book, a daring mouse takes center stage in an adventure even bigger than his appetite. 

          But where is Carlo these days?

 If you have any suggestions about Carlo’s future adventures, please email

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