Scholastic Book Club


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I have to admit I don’t spend a lot of time either reading about primary school, or thinking about books these days… wait, the other way around. Nonetheless, Georgie’s recent post on Book Club and The Jewel Kingdom series made me recall both very nostalgically.

I remember eagerly receiving Scholastic Book Club in those days, as Georgie mentions herself. Looking through it was a treat to see what the latest releases were, and I would often set aside time to do it, seeing what novelty items were offered with books that I wanted, and so on. (Of course, it wasn’t economical to get a book just because you liked the novelty item.)

Like Georgie, my parents would let me get some cheap things occasionally if I really wanted them, but usually not the book subscriptions (because we didn’t really understand how it worked and my parents hated to pay by card). As I got a little older and found not-so-appropriate ways to get my hands on cash as well as understood the system better (they never told your parents you were receiving anything, because usually they did the ordering!), sometimes I secretly made orders of my own and received them without telling anyone.

Yes, my sneaking around behaviour began early, it seems.

Nonetheless, in around year 5, I managed to convince my parents to get the subscription for me, which came with the first volume of Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda, the first book of The Secrets of Droon by Tony Abbott (wait what?? What an unfortunate name.), a Harry Potter collectible sticker book (by which I mean the stickers were collectible and you had to go buy more, since they only gave you a certain amount), and a Harry Potter letter set.

Deltora Quest anime ED Screencap

In the months that followed, slowly I began to gather the rest of the Deltora Quest series until my dad decided he didn’t want to pay anymore, and of course no more ever came — which would be fine if I didn’t have all of the first series except for the last book! (I eventually bought this at a random bookstore while on school camp in Year 8.)

I’ve always loved books, but for me novels have always come first. Many people get tired of them eventually or have always had an interest in non-fiction as well, but non-fiction always bored me, apart from the autobiographic Chinese Cinderella (or the version for adults, Falling Leaves) by Adeline Yen Mah and books such as The Diary of Anne-Frank that I cannot recall. If a book doesn’t tell a story in a narrative-style, I’m probably not that interested.

To say the least, I borrowed a lot of books in primary, even though we were only allowed two fiction and two non-fiction. Occasionally I sneaked some books out the back door, and I had a secret hiding place for the books I wanted to borrow but didn’t have the space to. In high school, I had a similar friend who I alternated books with, and we informed each other of interesting new releases — good times.

I had clean forgotten, but I have read The Jewel Kingdom by Jahnna N. Malcom as Georgie fondly remembers. I’m not sure whether I’ve read all the books, as well as not recalling what most of them were about apart from their subsequent kingdoms being threatened by evil forces. Nonetheless I enjoyed the adventures. I’ve had a thing for rubies (although I do love the other gems), so I probably would have to say the Ruby Princess was my favourite (Roxanne!).

I’ve since collected the rest of the Deltora Quest series, and the series helped me to discover other books by Emily Rodda, namely her Rowan of Rin series and other works I had skimmed over in the library in the past. The school library was one of my fondest places in both primary and high school, and even now I think I still harbour a small dream to work in a library, and bring that magic alive for kids of new generations — that is, if they’re still reading books. Maybe I could sell e-readers instead?

Deltora Quest anime by Oriental Light and Magic Inc, original series by Emily Rodda. Apparently airing on ABC3!