Are You There, Judy Blume? It's Me, Lizzie

A critic revisits the classics of her girlhood and finds much to love

Any author who won the affections of Lizzie Skurnick in her girlhood should count her- or himself lucky. Back then, Skurnick wept over books, pressed them on friends and mined them for educational material — cultural, social and sexual. Some tempting literary morsels drove her to actual theft. Now in Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading (Avon; 424 pages), Skurnick, 35, revisits her favorite young-adult novels to explore why they left such an impression on her and other women of her generation.

Shelf Discovery is a dizzyingly crowded, joyful hodgepodge of book reports, 65 of them written by...

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