Episode 18: Beezus and Ramona

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Beezus and Ramona

Episode 18 is a total sister act! Alli and guest Penny Luksic — both older sisters in their own families — at long last gab about the Quimby family, focusing on Beverly Cleary’s 1955 Beezus and Ramona, which was the first in the Ramona series. We discuss Ramona’s many pest-like — but lovable — antics, reflect on our own experiences growing up with younger siblings, and chat about the lack of diversity and complexity among families featured in the books of this era. Follow Penny on Instagram (@lennypuksic) and Twitter (@lennypuksic)!

CHECK OUT PENNY’S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Priestdaddy: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood

MORE READING:

“10 Beverly Cleary Books We All Want Our Kids To Read” (Bustle, 2016)

“10 Facts About Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Books” (Mental Floss, 2014)

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!** 

Check out the opening credits for the 10-episode 1988 TV series Ramona! When I was little, i was obsessed with renting VHS tapes of these episodes from Blockbuster when I was home sick for the day!

Episode 17: Twilight

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Twilight

In 2005, Stephenie Meyer’s YA vampire romance fantasy Twilight kicked off a four-book series, a blockbuster movie franchise, and generally a pop culture phenomenon. NBD. In Episode 17, podcaster and entrepreneur Kelly Parker Smith joins us to discuss all things Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, from the moodiness of Forks to the nature of their relationship… and, of course, we cover the age old #TeamEdward vs. #TeamJacob debate. Is Edward weirdly overprotective? Is it cool to be a vampire? We cover these questions and so much more! Check out Kelly’s work at Hello World Paper Co. (www.helloworldpaperco.com), Creative Biz Rebellion Podcast (www.creativebizrebellion.com), and Creative Rebel Base (www.creativerebelbase.com). Follow Hello World Paper Co. (@helloworldpaperco), the Creative Biz Rebellion podcast (@creativebizrebellion), and Kelly’s pattern designs (@kellyparkersmith) on Instagram, too!

CHECK OUT KELLY’S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

(**And check out the trailer for the TV series here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5qMoVTAwGk**)

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

MORE READING:

“The 10 Meanest Things Critics Have Said About the Twilight Books” (Cosmopolitan, 2015)

“Why Twilight isn’t for everybody” (LA Times, 2008)

Twilight author’s Mormon faith a big influence in books, film” (The State Journal-Register, 2008)

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!** 

Episode 16: Julie of the Wolves

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Julie of the Wolves

When author Jean Craighead George traveled to Barrow, Alaska in 1971 to study wolves, she thought it was for an article in Reader’s Digest… but when her editor rejected the piece, she decided to refocus on turning what she’d learned into a book for children. The (Newbery Medal-winning!) finished product was Julie of the Wolves, the story of a 13-year-old Eskimo girl who is forced to learn to survive among a pack of wolves on the tundra after running away from an unhealthy (to say the least) situation at home. In this episode, we talk about isolation, arranged marriage, the differences between Disney and The Revenant, my new puppy, and more. Thanks so much to Rose McAleese for joining us as a guest for Episode 16! Rose is an LA-based screenwriter who’s had the opportunity to write for shows on BET and Complex Magazine’s streaming platform. Check out her work at www.rosemcaleese.com and thenewblogontheblock.com. You can also follow her on Instagram (@rose_ettastone) and Twitter (@rose_ettastone).

CHECK OUT ROSE’S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

Maeve in America: Essays by a Girl from Somewhere Else by Maeve Higgins

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs

MORE READING:

“When You Read Julie of the Wolves in 5th Grade, Here’s What You Didn’t Notice About It” (Bustle, 2014)

“Banned Book Week: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George'“ (A Reader’s Ramblings, 2010)

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!** 

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Episode 15: A Wrinkle in Time

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A Wrinkle In Time

In 1962, Madeleine L’Engle’s Newbery Medal-winning A Wrinkle in Time brought readers to bizarre (AKA creepy) new planets, challenged them with theories of physics and time travel, and introduced them to a relatable protagonist in 13-year-old Meg. This book is so beloved, in fact, that stars no less famous than Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and OPRAH were called upon to star in its 2018 adaptation! Loaded Literature’s Anya Spector joins us for Episode 15 to discuss all things A Wrinkle In Time. Follow Anya (@AnyaMSpector) and Loaded Literature (@loadedlitpod) on Twitter.

CHECK OUT ANYA’S BOOK RECOMMENDATION:

Castle in the Sky, Vol. 1 by Hayao Miyazaki

MORE READING:

“How A Wrinkle in Time Lost Its Magic” (The New Republic, 2018)

A Wrinkle in Time: Let’s hope the movie is better than the book” (The Washington Post, 2018)

“The supreme weirdness of reading A Wrinkle in Time as an adult” (Mashable, 2018)

“Rereading A Wrinkle in Time, After a Childhood Enthralled by Madeleine L’Engle” (The New Yorker, 2018)

A Wrinkle in Time ditches the book’s explicit Christian references — and the movie really suffers because of it” (Insider, 2018)

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!** 

Episode 14: Lily's Crossing

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Lily’s Crossing

TBH, Patricia Reilly Giff’s Newbery Honor award-winning Lily’s Crossing isn’t a book that I’ve thought about that often since my childhood… but when this week’s guest reminded me of it, I was immediately reminded of how much I’d loved it. In Episode 14, we discuss all the reasons why — the beautiful writing, the relatable main character, and its timeless quality. Oh, and there’s also a hot dad. Brooklyn-based freelance writer, editor, and advertising copywriter Elizabeth Entenman joins us! Elizabeth is currently the books editor at HelloGiggles. Follower her on Instagram (@entenman) and Twitter (@elizabenten), and check out her work at www.elizabethannentenman.com.

CHECK OUT ELIZABETH’S BOOK RECOMMENDATION:

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

… and check out Elizabeth’s interview with Aja Gabel on HelloGiggles right here!

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!** 

Episode 13: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

For the first time EVER, lifelong BFFs Tibby, Carmen, Bridget, and Lena are about to be separated for the summer. Luckily for them, they find a pair of seemingly magic pants to hold them together as they scatter around the world… and luckily for us, Ann Brashares shared their story in her 2001 YA novel The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. There’s a lot more to this book than I realized myself as a teen — questions of sex, depression, death, blended families, and more — and we break it all down in Episode 13. West Philadelphia-based special education teacher Katie Hartman joins us for all the girl talk. Follow Katie’s awesome bookstagram (@katiefullybooked).

CHECK OUT KATIE'S BOOK RECOMMENDATION:

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer 

MORE READING:

"Here's How The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Rules Would Play Out In Real Life" (MTV News, 2015)

"Thrift Stores Are Magic: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares" (HelloGiggles, 2013)

"10 Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Friendship Lessons Every Woman Needs in Her Life" (Cosmopolitan, 2015)

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!** 

Episode 12: Ella Enchanted

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Ella Enchanted

For those of us raised on a steady diet of (often helpless) Disney princesses, Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted was a revelation, a girl power fairy tale retelling. Yes, Ella is passive, but it’s only because she has to be, thanks to an obedience curse placed on her when she was a baby. In Episode 12, we break down the many facets of this smart, spunky — dare we say feminist? (yes.) — heroine. Thanks to Sarah Brittain for joining us as a guest! Sarah is the co-host of the Unassigned Reading podcast. Follow the show on Twitter (@unassignedpod) and Instagram (@unassignedreading).

CHECK OUT ALLI'S PODCAST SHOUTOUT, A PERSONAL FAVE: Here To Make Friends — A Bachelor Recap Show

PRE-ORDER THE ELLA ENCHANTED PREQUEL, OUT OCTOBER 2018: Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

CHECK OUT SARAH'S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers 

MORE READING:

"How The Heroine Of Ella Enchanted (Accidentally) Became A Feminist Icon" (HuffPost, 2017)

"Ella Enchanted Is A Feminist Masterpiece" (Book Riot, 2018)

"5 Feminist Lessons I Learned From Reading Ella Enchanted" (Bustle, 2016)

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!**

Episode 11: Goosebumps // Welcome to Dead House

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Goosebumps // Welcome to Dead House

Twenty years too late, Alli is finally joining the Cool Kids Club and reading Goosebumps for the first time! In Episode 11 of The SSR Podcast, we discuss the first book in this beloved, best-selling series from R.L. Stine, Welcome to Dead House. How scary is too scary for middle grade? Are helicopter parents ruining kid lit? Why are girls socialized to read some book series, while boys are socialized to read others? We’ll discuss these questions and so much more with this week’s guest Sarah Slusher, founder of the Really Into This pop culture blog. Follow Sarah on Instagram (@stslusher) and Twitter (@Stslusher)! You can also follow Really Into This on Instagram (@reallyintothis) and Twitter (@reallyintoblog).

CHECK OUT SARAH'S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of '80s and '90s Teen Fiction by Gabrielle Moss (<--- now available for pre-order!)

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James 

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang 

Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper 

Ain't She A Peach by Molly Harper 

MORE READING:

"I Re-Read Goosebumps By R.L. Stine As An Adult, And It Still Gave Me Nightmares" (Bustle, 2017)

"The lingering irreverence of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series" (The Globe and Mail, 2015)

"13 Things You Never Knew About The 'Goosebumps' Book Series From R.L. Stine Himself" (BuzzFeed, 2016)

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!**

Episode 10: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

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The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

On Episode 10, Good Christian Fun podcast co-host Caroline Ely joins us to discuss the third — and best-known — book in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Published in 1950, it has quite the historical and religious context, and you’ll hear all about it! You’ll also find out which C.S. Lewis book Alli wrote a rap about in elementary school and which Narnian character seriously traumatized her all the way into adulthood. Follow Caroline on Instagram (@carolinesfarts) and Twitter (@CarolinesFarts).

CHECK OUT CAROLINE'S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

Fraud: Essays by David Rakoff

Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans

MORE READING:

"16 Facts About The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" (Mental Floss, 2014)

"The Lion, the Witch, and the Really Foul Candy" (Slate, 2005)

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!**

  ***The BBC Mr. Tumnus of Alli's nightmares***

***The BBC Mr. Tumnus of Alli's nightmares***

Episode 09: Little House on the Prairie

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Little House on the Prairie

With the help of elementary education pro and super-reader Drew Gannon, we’re talking all things Little House on the Prairie and Laura Ingalls Wilder on Episode 9. We’ll dig into the historical context of the book (including the elements that have seriously not held up since it was published in 1935), Pa’s general hotness, and more. Follow Drew on Instagram (@drewalison).

CHECK OUT DREW'S BOOK RECOMMENDATION:

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee 

MORE READING:

"Little House on the Prairie and the Truth About the American West" (The New York Times, 2017)

"Finding America, Both Red and Blue, in the Little House Books" (The New York Times, 2017)

"5 Ways the Little House on the Prairie Books Stretched the Truth" (Mental Floss, 2018)

"Reading Little House on the Prairie as an Adult" (Book Riot, 2016)

"Why I Still Love the Little House on the Prairie Books" (The Atlantic, 2011) 

"Yes, Little House on the Prairie is racially insensitive — but we should still read it" (The Washington Post, 2018)

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!**

Episode 08: Animal Farm

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Animal Farm

It’s time for a little required reading! On Episode 8 of The SSR Podcast, we talk with film and TV writer Meredith Dawson about George Orwell’s political allegory Animal Farm… and how it feels eerily similar to the climate in modern America. Follow Meredith on Instagram (@meredawson) and Twitter (@meredawson).

CHECK OUT MEREDITH'S BOOK RECOMMENDATION:

Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas + Mark Olshaker

MORE READING:

"How Animal Farm Gave Hope to Stalin's Refugees" (The Atlantic, 2012)

"George Orwell's Animal Farm: Guide to the rise of authoritarianism in the Donald Trump era?" (Salon, 2018) <--- the most quoted article of the episode! 

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!**

Episode 07: The Baby-Sitters Club // Kristy's Great Idea

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The Baby-Sitters Club // Kristy's Great Idea

Say hello to your friends! The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin is quite possibly the most iconic book series of the 80s and 90s… and we’re breaking it down in Episode 7 of The SSR Podcast. YA superfan and Cosmopolitan Magazine senior editor Jessica Goodman joins us to chat all about the first book in the BSC line-up, Kristy’s Great Idea. Follow Jess on Instagram (@jessicagoodman) and Twitter (@jessgood).

BSC/SATC CHARACTER EQUIVALENCY CHART (per Alli + Jess):

Kristy = Miranda | Mary Anne = Charlotte

Stacie = Samantha | Claudia = Carrie

CHECK OUT JESS'S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Hey Ladies! by Michelle  Markowitz and Caroline Moss (<-- one of Alli's favorites of the summer!)

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott 

Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi 

MORE READING:

"As a Boy, I Was Obsessed With the Baby-Sitters Club Books. I Have No Regrets." (Slate, 2016)

"The Feminist Legacy of The Baby-Sitters Club" (The New Yorker, 2016)

"Ann M. Martin on the Enduring Appeal of The Baby-Sitters Club and Rebooting Another Children's Series" (Vulture, 2016)

"The Legacy of The Baby-Sitters Club" (The Atlantic, 2012)

SAY HELLO TO JESS'S FRIENDS:

You heard her shout out to Maddie Boardman and Kase Wickman! Check out their SSR episodes here and here

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!**

Episode 06: Sloppy Firsts

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Sloppy Firsts

On this episode of The SSR Podcast, we break down Megan McCafferty’s 2001 novel Sloppy Firsts, the first book in the bestselling Jessica Darling series. We dive into every last delicious detail of high school drama and tackle some big questions, too. Can things ever stay the same with a friend after she moves away? Can a bad boy like Marcus Flutie ever really be reformed? How do frank discussions of sex, drugs, and suicide affect teen readers? Follow guest Maddie Boardman on Instagram (@mboardman) and Twitter (@ml_boardman).

CHECK OUT MADDIE'S BOOK RECOMMENDATION:

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

MORE READING:

"Celebrating the (Not So) Sweet Sixteen of Sloppy Firsts" (BN Teen Blog, 2017)

"Sloppy Firsts: Megan McCafferty Tells All!" (Forever Young Adult, 2012) 

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!**

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Episode 05: Nancy Drew // The Secret of the Old Clock

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Nancy Drew // The Secret of the Old Clock

Nancy Drew devotees, beware! On this episode of The SSR Podcast, Alli and her guest — Brooklyn-based writer Kase Wickman — take a deep dive into the question of whether or not OG girl detective Nancy is really a feminist icon and discuss her highly important role in the history of female protagonists in #kidlit. They focus on the first-ever book in the series, The Secret of the Old Clock. Follow Kase on Instagram (@worstkase) and Twitter (@worstkase).

***Want to hear more about girl detectives in literature? Check out Episode 01: Harriet the Spy!*** 

CHECK OUT KASE'S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O'Connell

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara 

MORE READING:

"The Story of Nancy Drew, Once Far More Ballsy Than The Girl Sleuth You Know" (HuffPost, 2015)

"Nancy Drew and the Secret of the 3 Black Robes" (The New York Times, 2009)

"You never realized it, but Nancy Drew was a gay and an early LGTB icon" (Babe, 2017)

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!**

Episode 04: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

On this episode of The SSR Podcast, Alli has — refreshingly! — almost nothing bad to say about E.L. Konigsburg’s 1967 book From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. For this literary love fest, she’s joined by the brilliant author and food writer Hannah Howard. Follow Hannah on Instagram (@hannahmhoward) and Twitter (@hannahhoward).

CHECK OUT HANNAH'S (INCREDIBLE!) MEMOIR:

Feast: True Love In and Out of the Kitchen by Hannah Howard

CHECK OUT HANNAH'S BOOK RECOMMENDATION:

Asymmetry: A Novel by Lisa Halliday

MORE READING:

"From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Fifty Years Later" (The New Yorker, 2017)

"17 Fun Facts About From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" (Mental Floss, 2014)

"The True Story Behind Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Her Mixed-Up Files" (Smithsonian, 2017)

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!**

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Episode 03: Matilda

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Matilda

On this episode of The SSR Podcast, Alli and Alexandra Fishwick (@alexandra_fish) — who is the assistant director of a childcare facility by day, but a writer and the blogger behind Authentically Alex at night — talk Roald Dahl’s 1988 novel Matilda. There’s plenty of good (little Matilda’s obsession with books), plenty of bad (the evil headmistress Miss Trunchbull), and plenty of ugly (some very weird gender dynamics).

CHECK OUT ALEX'S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (<-- Alli's all-time favorite memoir!)

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach 

MORE READING:

"Matilda at 25" (Slate, 2013)

"Roald Dahl Wanted His Magical Matilda To Keep Books Alive" (NPR Backseat Book Club, 2013)

"8 Things In Matilda You Probably Didn't Notice The First Time Around" (Bustle, 2015)

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!**

Episode 02: The Princess Diaries

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The Princess Diaries

On this episode of The SSR Podcast, Alli and publishing pro Haley Davis (@hayc12) relive the life-changing experience of seeing the movie The Princess Diaries for the first time, then compare that to the experience of reading the book (Meg Cabot, 2000) both as tweens and adults.

CHECK OUT HALEY'S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

Wonder by R.J. Palacio (<-- Alli loves this one, too!)

We Have Always Lived In the Castle by Shirley Jackson

MORE READING:

"12 Regal Facts About The Princess Diaries" (Mental Floss, 2016)

"Unpopular Opinion: The Princess Diaries Isn't As Good As You Remember" (Refinery29, 2016)

"Interview with Meg Cabot" (Readers Read)

"There's a reason Mia's dad was killed off in The Princess Diaries movies — and it's because of Dame Julie Andrews" (Hello Giggles, 2017)

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!**

Episode 01: Harriet the Spy

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Harriet the Spy

On this episode of The SSR Podcast, Brittney Lynn (@brittneyllynn) joins Alli to break down Louise Fitzhugh’s 1964 novel, Harriet the Spy. Learn all about Alli’s complicated history with this character and listen to us talk about A LOT of really mean fictional kids.

CHECK OUT BRITTNEY'S BOOK RECOMMENDATION:

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

MORE READING:

"Unapologetically Harriet, the Misfit Spy" (NPR Morning Edition, 2008)

"Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh" (ThoughtCo., 2017)

"7 Ways Harriet the Spy Was Waaaay Ahead Of Its Time" (Bustle, 2015)

"Classic children's book Harriet the Spy turns 50" (Washington Post, 2014)

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**Please note that the Amazon links above are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. Please do not feel inclined to purchase unless you are excited to add these books to your TBR list!**