I love revisiting the books I read over and over as a child. My parents - mostly my mom- did a great job of taking us to our small town library and also to a larger library frequently to get a better variety of books to read. Often it seems I was sort of stuck in a certain pattern of checking out the same books repeatedly. There are certain Nancy Drew books I have read repeatedly and others I have never read at all.
One of the series I owned that was on a constant reading and re-reading cycle was The Girls of Canby Hall series by Emily Chase. This series came out when I was in fifth or sixth grade, featuring three girls: Dana a sophisticated New Yorker, Shelly an Iowa farm girl, and Faith a hip African American girl from Washington, D.C. The three girls meet at Canby Hall, the boarding school they will be attending as sophomore in high school. At first the girls can't stand each other and find living together impossible, but as the series progresses the three girls become best friends, learning to appreciate their differences. I looked so forward to each moth's Scholastic order so I could purchase the next installment. This was a series that I forced myself to read slowly, making myself put the book down after each chapter so that I didn't read it too quickly.
When the original three girls graduate, I was sad and hoped that we would get to follow them to college. Chase moved three new girls in to replace the first Girls of Canby Hall and Jane, Andy, and Toby were just as different from each other as their predecessors.
I still own the entire collection of these books. At one my point my mother gave these books away, telling me that I would never read these again. I was OK with this originally, and let her take them to the school she taught at that I had attended. The seventh/eighth grade classroom there put them in the classroom library. Years passed and when I started my teaching career at that same school I happened across my books in a teacher's room. She generously told me I could have them back after I asked if I could check some out to re-read. Not all of the series was intact, so after bidding on ebay I managed to pick up the entire series.
This is not a well known series - at least by the standards of Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden, but a few of my friends have heard of and read these books. What about you? Do you remember The Girls of Canby Hall? Just recently the Sweet Valley High fans were treated to a chance to see what the Wakefield twins were up to ten years later. I would love, love, love to know what Dana, Faith and Shelly are up to now, too! Any ideas?