When I was in third grade I started reading the Sweet Valley High books. I've talked about them here before. Actually, Mark's one guest entry was about the magic that is Sweet Valley High. The SVH books were all numbered, and being the inflexible taskmaster that I am, of course I had to read them in order. By the time I was a devoted fan there were already a bunch of them out. Unlike the Sweet Valley Twins series (same twins, only younger); I'd eagerly look for the latest Twins book every time I went into Evergreen Books. I can still remember the JOY!!! I'd feel rounding the corner and seeing a new one. What color would it be? What would the picture on the front be? Oh my gosh! This one's about Elizabeth and how she's helping someone! And it's PURPLE!
Back to Sweet Valley High. I don't know why my parents let me read a book that was blatantly about high schoolers when I was a child, but whatever, maybe you're just happy your kid is reading. Anyway, I finished number four (Power Play, if you're interested) and was ready for number five (All Night Long, shown above). My dad and I were at the bookstore. I picked it off the shelf. He read the title, saw the man (!) with the mustache embracing the high school girl and that was it. It was a no go. I can't blame the guy, but I was stricken. I had to skip number five and move straight on to number six (Dangerous Love). Which was not really that dangerous, as it was about that vanilla kiss-ass Elizabeth.
I never really moved past All Night Long. It became my obsession. I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep... no, just kidding. I was eight. I was probably distracted by something shiny and forgot about it two seconds later. But still. I never found out if Jessica stayed out all night long, or if she was as grown up as she thought she was. And I wanted to know.
Which is why I was delighted to go through the pile of rejected books donated for my school's used book fair today. The librarian pointed me in the direction of books that didn't make the cut. Turns out censorship can be really fun! There was a book about a horse being dissected (?!) and... All Night Long! Had my dad gone through the stack and taken this one out, still trying to protect me from it?
Thinking this would be a hilarious anecdote from my childhood, I called my dad at work.
Dad: [First name, last name] [By the way, this is a totally unfriendly way to answer your phone.]
Me: [First name, same last name]
Me: What's up?
Dad: I don't know. [I love my dad. He ALWAYS answers "what's up?" with "I don't know." It's because he's waiting for ME to tell HIM what's up. I can't explain why it amuses me, but it does.]
Me: Guess what I found in my school library!
Me: Remember that book you wouldn't let me read? The Sweet Valley high book?
Dad: You had all of them.
Me: I had all but ONE. It was called All Night Long and you decided it was too scandalous. You wouldn't let me buy it. Remember?
Me: Oh. Well, this isn't quite as special a moment as I had hoped.