Growing up, a lot of my friends were in books. Besides The Baby-Sitters Club, I was also very fond of the girls in¬† Susan Saunders’¬†Sleepover Friends series. Lauren, Kate, Stephanie, and Patti were¬†inseparable, and even better than having three best friends (I had one best friend, and was a very shy child, so I had very few other friends outside of literature), they had sleepovers every weekend! Rotating between their houses, their Friday night sleepovers were filled with food, gossip, and various sorts of fun that was highly dependent upon the plot of the book: fashion shows at the weekend if¬†a dance was coming up, for example.
What really struck me about the Sleepover Friends, though, was how loyal they were. They didn’t always agree, they sometimes fought, and they could get on one another’s¬†nerves, but at the end of the day, they were there for each other. I envied their friendship a little bit, and admired them a lot.
The girls were also created in a way that you could relate to each of them in different ways. I admired Stephanie’s fashion choices‚Äìmostly‚Äìand because of her, for several years my wardrobe consisted mostly of black, white, and red things (to be fair, it still does). On the other hand, she was spoiled and bratty at times, but she loved her friends (and her mom did make fabulous cookies…). Lauren, the primary narrator for most of the series, was down to earth, unconcerned with fashion, and unsure around boys, and was probably the girl I most identified with, perhaps because she was the narrator. Kate was smart and bossy, but also unsure of herself at times, which was endearing. Patti was really smart, very shy, and good at science, which I envied for some reason, since I wasn’t bad at science. But the strength of the books really came from the girls as a group, proving that, at least in the case of the¬†Sleepover Friends, the sum really was greater than the parts.
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Girl Museum Inc.