Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shapeshifters of the World, Unite!

It took me a long time to decide what to write about for my third Sparkfest entry (which, if you still don't have the information, started here). There are so many books that have been sparks for me and my writing, and a lot of my childhood memories involve the novels I was reading at the time. If there's one series that made a huge impact on my fifth-grade self, it was Animorphs.

A lot of people thought those books were hokey, and I moved on to bigger and better things before they went out of print, but I loved them fiercely when I first discovered them. Who doesn't love the idea of being able to change into any animal you want? Granted, they had to physically touch said animal and acquire it's DNA before they could morph into it, which was interesting when they needed to be more exotic animals, but still. It would be pretty awesome to try on a different animal's skin for a day, don't you think?

There were frequent trips to the bookstore when the Animorphs franchise was booming. When my parents had to make a trip to the store, I clamored for books the way other children beg for toys or candy. Luckily for me, I had parents who supported my book habit, and my mom was happy to supply me with every new Animorphs book as it hit the shelves.

About three years ago, I sold my extensive Animorphs collection to a woman with three boys. The books had been out of print for years (up until a few months ago...they're rereleasing them now, much to my delight), and her sons were unable to find more than the first three at their local library. Looking back on that decision, I sometimes worry that I made a huge mistake selling my books to this complete stranger. After all, those books hold a special place in my heart and it would be amazing to share them with my children someday. But when I really think about it, I helped those boys immensely. I supplied them with books that were otherwise unattainable, and who knows? Maybe I helped spark something in them. :)



  1. Hey J - I'm a new follower and fellow campaigner. Love your bio!

  2. Thanks! I've been getting that a lot lately... :)

  3. J!!!! this is seriously so funny. Loved Animorphs too and I always always begged my mom to buy me more and more of them. And, the ones that I didn't have I borrowed from the library. I completely forgot how much I loved them... crazy huh!

  4. i like all your sparkly stories! and i loved magical adventure books growing up too (ever heard of xanth?) =)

  5. I remember seeing those books. My girls were too young at the time and I always meant to get them when they were older. You've just reminded me about them :)

  6. Yes! I wasn't as avid Animorphs reader, but I do remember them. And I know that pain of handing off something that was once treasured: I gave a (much) little(r) cousin in a far-away state my collection of Samantha books. I was a huge AG fan, back in the day (in fact, I'm probably going to blog about that, in a bit).

    In other news, I popped over to your other blog, and I'm so thrilled with that list! I need to make one for myself... and pilfer at least half the items on yours. :) Lovely stuff.

  7. @Mel: Isn't it funny how a bunch of us have read the same books? Although I suppose when you're an avid reader, like this community clearly is, you read everything. :P

    @Tara: Thank you very much! I've heard of Xanth, but I didn't read any of those books. I'll have to look into them though. :)

    @Sarah: They're definitely worth the read. Like I mentioned in my post, they're rereleasing them now with pretty new covers, so your kids won't even know they're old books. ;)

    @Julie: I had the Samantha books too! I wonder whatever happened to those... And thanks for checking out my other blog. :) It was a lot of work putting that list together, but it's been fun working my way through it. Pilfer away! :D

  8. Hi J. Fellow Campaigner here. I'm not familiar with the Animorphs series, but your description of it reminds me of the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon Wonder Twins. :D I haven't outgrown my desire to change into an animal at will! LOL

    I do know the bittersweet feeling of giving books away.

  9. I've only read the first two or three (I think three) Animorph books, but I own 3, 8, 25, and 26. My local used bookstore also sells them, and that's where I plan to buy them for my collection.

    I personally enjoy them even though they're waaay below my grade level and I like how the author isn't afraid of conflict. I'm still wondering if Tobias every returns to human form.

  10. I remember the Animorphs! Well, I think you did the right thing passing them on - like you said, maybe the books will help those boys find their own spark!


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