Childhood Idols

Nancy DrewI will take a minute to be thankful that we are not judged on our childhood idols. Right? Right. If we were, I’d clearly be blond, meddlesome, and prone to trouble – but also, I’d be absolutely darling. I don’t know that I’d necessarily want to revisit any of these characters. Some of them I lived and breathed as a child, so I don’t need any more time with them. Some of them I have updates on.

10. Roberta // Now and Then. Not bookish, but true. I fiercely identified with the smart, sassy, tomboy Roberta. I also loved Devon Sawa and Caspar. (I said no judgement.)

09. Ramona //Beverly Cleary. Pest or not, Ramona is the best.

08. Matilda // Roald Dahl. Smart and gifted.

07. Mary Ann Spier . BSC forever.

06. Nancy Drew. Enough said. But also blond, roadster, and apparently invincible….Β Also, I’ve revisited Nanc Drew as an adult, it wasn’t pretty.

05. Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield // SVH. Though I clearly identify with Elizabeth, I always kind of wanted to be Jessica too.

04. Harriet the Spy // Lousie Fitzhugh. Spy!

03. Margaret. I could probably devote a whole list to Judy Blume, because Sally J Freedman would definitely be on there too.

02. Buffy // Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Also not bookish, but why not?

01. The many I did not list. It’s late, I know I’m missing one or two. Dirk Pitt? Frannie Goldsmith? Someone else nontraditional?

Who did you want to be?

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  • Nishita

    Ooh Buffy all the way! Also, there was this kid in one of the Enid Blyton books I read as a child, who used to be in a circus. Total envy!

  • Kate

    Yes to 3, 5, 6, 8 and 9. Dare I say I was a little too old for BSC (eeek!). Tell me it’s not weird that I still have Team Elizabeth vs Team Jessica debates in my head – like you, I was Elizabeth but felt life as Jessica would have been a bit more exciting…

    • Rory O’Connor

      I don’t remember BSC really picking up steam until the early ’90s, but they were around (in the US) in the mid-80s – not that I was reading them yet, so I will give you a pass.

      And it’s not weird, as I honestly do still think about comas/motorcycles/etc.

  • Meaghan Walsh Gerard

    Ramona always annoyed me for some reason. I liked Nancy Drew because I fancied myself a detective (still do) but even as a small child I could smell the formula a mile away. I wanted to be Susan in the Chronicles of Narnia (the early ones). I was pretty convinced that I would never turn my back on make-believe like Susan did, but I wanted to be the bossy one and have mad archery skills.

    • Rory O’Connor

      She could do that, she was a bit of a pest from time to time, but an endearing one for me.

  • Bri

    Mary Ann really was the best babysitter πŸ™‚ And yes, really I could probably list just all Judy Blume characters and be okay with that decision. I really liked Blubber but I cannot for the life of me remember that girls name…Great List!

  • Kate Unger

    I love the movie Now and Then! Roberta was awesome. πŸ™‚ My husband and I still watch Buffy episodes occasionally, especially Once More with Feeling – the musical one. Best TV episode ever!

    • Rory O’Connor

      Yes! I can still watch Now and Then with intense interest.

  • Naomi

    I remember wanting to be Harriet the Spy, and carrying a notebook and pencil with me everywhere I went. I soon tired of this when I realized nothing interesting ever happened around my neighbourhood. πŸ™‚ How I wanted that dumb-waiter!

    • Rory O’Connor

      The same thing happened to me!

  • Kailana

    I loved Matilda!

    • Rory O’Connor

      Me too! I still kind of want to be her.

  • Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves)

    SVH forever! At the time I read them, I definitely wanted to be Elizabeth. Looking back now, I think I’d go for Jessica!

    • Rory O’Connor

      Me too, oddly enough! Knowing I was never as wild and boy crazy as Jessica leads me to believe it might be fun (now as an adult, looking back).

  • Carolyn O

    Meg Murray. (Also, I’ve never read Harriet the Spy . . . now I feel like I’m missing out.)

    • Rory O’Connor

      Meg is a good one! And H might soon be old enough to appreciate Harriet the Spy, at least that’s what I’m doing with my kids (Superfudge and The BFG were recent ones I slipped into my son’s TBR stack).

      • Carolyn O

        Good call!

  • Tracy

    I’m not familiar with many of these, but OMG yes to Buffy!! I’m totally cool with her not being a bookish character! πŸ˜›

    Here are my Top Ten!

    • Rory O’Connor

      Right?! Buffy is always awesome.

  • Valerie @ He Said Books Or Me

    Great list! I have Ramona and the BSC on mine too πŸ™‚ I want to go back and re-read these books now! Happy Reading!

    • Rory O’Connor

      I actually picked up a classic Nancy Drew at the library the other day to see if it’s as good as I remember!

  • Conny

    I don’t know many of these, but yes to Buffy! There were Bufy books based on episodes, so it counts. I know, I had them! I’ve heard of some of the others but not all. Then again, I spent my childhood in Germany, so I was surrounded by other characters. Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday post

    • Rory O’Connor

      Buffy is still a badass over a decade later. I rewatch episode intermittently and remember why I loved it.

  • Marisa @The Daily Dosage

    This list is great! Pretty much all of these and I would probably add Lucy from The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe; Laura from The Little House series and Fern from Charlotte’s Web.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Fern! I can’t believe I forgot about her.

  • Jenny @ Reading the End

    Ha! I wanted to murder Ramona when I was a kid. I had long hair that my classmates could not resist pulling, and I really identified with the girl whose hair damn Ramona keeps pulling. HANDS TO YOURSELF RAMONA. :p

    As a kid, I wanted to be Matilda. I had it in my head that I’d stay in regular school (because I knew skipping grades made one’s life socially difficult) and just keep the power to move things with my mind. Friends plus telekinesis seemed like (still does actually!) a pretty sweet trade-off for a bit of boredom. It’s not like I couldn’t still spend time at the library.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I still want to be Matilda a little bit. And I remember empathizing with Beezus when Ramona called her pizza face.

  • Lynn @ Smoke & Mirrors

    I think I preferred the Hardy Boys over Nancy Drew, simply because I was such a tom-boy. Nancy seemed a bit too girly-girl for me, though I loved her sleuthing skills!!

    • Rory O’Connor

      I’ve never actually read the Hardy boys and feel a bit like I am missing out.

  • Catherine G

    Absolutely Nancy Drew- which is quite funny because my hairstyle looks a bit like hers (as close as I can get to beachy waves). Not the color, which I never understood- titian?! Hunh? Still, she seemed so independent and unafraid.

    I always liked the daring of Pippi Longstocking.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Right?! In my head she was blondish and titian means auburn (I had to check)… I liked her independence too and that she had a girl cousin with a boy name (which I appreciate).

  • mariahelena

    No judgement here. I loved Now and Then when I was a teenager, and Roberta was definitely my favourite. Also, I had a huge crush on Devon Sawa.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Even when he was Caspar the ghost I was pretty smitten… And then my tornado obsessed self saw Night of the Twisters, after that I was head over heels.

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