Life·6 min read

Books That Made Skimm HQ Love Reading

The Alchemist, The House on Mango Street, Holes
Sep 5, 2019

To celebrate International Literacy Day, we’re throwing it back to the books that defined our love of reading. 

For when your parents didn’t have the birds and bees conversation with you…

“Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret” by Judy Blume

This did the trick. Judy Blume’s “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” is the formative AF book about growing up that we can’t forget. In this one, a pre-teen aged Margaret navigates fitting in with new friends, puberty, a new school, and what it means to be ‘normal.’ A coming of age story if we ever saw one.


For when your childhood bestie is still your go-to person...

“Holes” by Louis Sachar

Let’s hope Stanley and Zero are too. Before it was the Disney movie you had on repeat, Skimm HQ’rs were reading this book cover to cover. In it, Stanley (aka young Shia LaBeouf…) is sent away to a cruel detention center where he digs holes all. day. long. Stanley and Zero’s friendship, and their ultimate redemption, is one that we’re still thinking about.


For when you couldn't put down the required reading… 

“The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros

Sorry not sorry. “The House on Mango Street,” is the coming-of-age story of a Mexican-American girl growing up in Chicago. It's beloved by critics and school curriculums across the country. The story unfolds in vignettes, each revealing something about her thoughts on herself and the world around her. It’s both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and a book Skimm HQ can’t let go of. 


For when you needed something to believe in...

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

This was our cure. The book has sold more than 65 million copies in more than 55 languages, and tells the story of Santiago, a shepherd boy who is searching the Egyptian pyramids for treasures. We went on a journey with him as he learned to trust his instincts, follow his heart, and experience all the cheesy cliches. And Skimm HQ loved cheese even before we loved wine.


For when we weren’t reading “Harry Potter” books…

“Malgudi Days” by R. K. Narayan

We were reading this. Written by R. K. Narayan, the book, which is told in a collection of stories, explores the everyday lives of people in a fictional Indian town, Malgudi. Narayan’s been famously compared to Chekhov and it's easy to see why.


For when your teacher called you a troublemaker...

“The Junie B. Jones Series” by Barbara Park

Meet your match in Junie B. Jones. Barbara Park’s books tell the story of rambunctious kindergartener Junie B. (for Beatrice and don’t you forget it) Jones. She made us laugh and made going to school and finding your sass something we’ll never forget. Remember the book with the fruitcake? We do too. The series has sold more than 55 million copies. Junie Big Deal.


For when we wanted a story that moved us...

“Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston

Hurston’s book is largely considered one of the most important books of the century. It’s an unofficial love letter to black women and is a foundational text for some Skimm HQ’rs. In it, readers follow the granddaughter of a slave, Janie Crawford, through her life and multiple marriages to find true love. 


For when we wanted a break from “The Boxcar Children”...

“The Baby-Sitters Club” by Ann M. Martin

Say hello to your friends in the Babysitter's Club. The series, which has sold more than 176 million copies, cemented our obsession with books from an early age. The thin colorful book spines are hard to forget as are its lead characters: Kristy, Claudiai, Mary Anne, and Stacey. In it, the girls hatch their plan to run a baby-sitting club, and become mini entrepreneurs in the making. Their feminist legacy still sticks with us too.


For when you geek out on library lingo...

“Bud, Not Buddy” by Christopher Paul Curtis

Remember the Dewey Decimal System? How about the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Book Award? Curtis’s book won both awards, and is a BFD to critics and librarians everywhere. In it, you follow a young boy from Flint, Michigan, who sets out on the road to find his father. Curtis also wrote “The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963” and has remained one of the most influential authors of our childhoods. 


For when you miss exploring the world...

The “Magic Tree House Series” by Mary Pope Osborne

Jack and Annie to the rescue. The siblings, gripped Skimm HQ from the start, from their backyard treehouse adventures exploring the moon, mummies, and dinosaurs. It became a worldwide success—with almost 53 million copies sold. The saying is true: you never forget your first (chapter book).


PS: These are editorially selected, but if you purchase, theSkimm may get something in return. Thanks.

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