Nostalgia comes in all shapes and forms: smelling that cotton candy perfume you used to wear everyday, finding old handwritten notes you passed around in class with your BFF, rediscovering your fave Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper, or picking up one of the many cherished books you adored as a kid. The '90s was a great time to grow up, and as our generations gets older, we can look back fondly at the silly, sometimes outrageous things we worshiped as children. Most notably, the characters within our favorite books.
These characters inspired us to dye our hair crazy colors, solve fights between our best friends, and write down all our feelings in our fuzzy green diaries. Some of the most beloved characters from '90s books were our first feminist inspirations, urging us to feel empowered as girls and understand our own power. From Matilda's witty independence to Junie B. Jones sassy personality, these fictional role models provided us with major inspiration as children.
We worshiped these characters because we could relate to them, or in some cases, because we desperately wanted to become just like them. Take a trip down memory road with these 10 characters you, and every other '90s kid, loved:
1. Matilda from Matilda
Matilda didn't have an easy life, but her love of books and heart of gold made us all worship her very existence. The fact that she had the power of telekinesis only made us all want to be her even more.
2. Violet Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events series
Don't get me wrong, I adored Claus and Sunny, too, but something about Violet's inventive mind, ribbon tied hair, and quick thinking set her apart. She was the oldest, so naturally she took care of younger siblings as they all got caught up in, well, a series of unfortunate events . For that reason alone, she was worthy of our praise.
3. Jack and Annie from The Magic Treehouse series
Jack and Annie went on the coolest adventures. Period. They had a treehouse that transported them through time to historical — or not so historical — events. We worshiped these siblings because of their impeccable bravery, adventurous spirit, and because they lived the lifestyle that every '90s kid wanted.
4. Allison Cloud from the Girl Talk series
Every girl in the Girl Talk series was worth admiring, but Allison Cloud was our leader, the girl who loved to read and had two adorable cats. I also loved Katie because I could relate to her problems, and I'm sure every Girl Talk fan could say the same about different characters. One way or another, every '90s girl worshiped this series because it was as fun to read as it was to talk about.
5. The Girls from the Sleepover Friends series
Patti, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kate were all similar in many ways, yet they each had their own set of distinguishable traits. The best thing about this series was their awesome sleepovers, obviously. I was constantly trying to throw cool slumber parties like these girls, and I doubt I was alone in that endeavor. This series captured everything glorious about the '90s — from the boy band posters on the wall to the late night phone calls.
6. Amelia from the Amelia's Notebook series
If you hadn't already kept a emotionally-filled and brightly colored diary, Amelia's Notebook inspired you to start one. Her survival guides on boredom, gossip, moving, and crushes got us through our roughest times. She was easily one of the best '90s characters that existed on your bookshelf.
7. Junie B. Jones from the Junie B. Jones series
Wowie wow wow! Junie B. Jones was my misfit hero as a kid. She was full of spunk, said what she meant, and always made her opinions and thoughts clear. She was worshiped by nearly every '90s kid.
8. The Baby-Sitters from The Baby-Sitters Club series
Kristy, Claudia, Mary, Stacey, and Dawn were all worthy of our worship. Each girl had their own set of skills and problems we related with. I'm fairly positive every '90s book-lover wanted to live in Stoneybrook and be a part of the club, or at least attempt to make one within their own friend group. Their advice and adventures were always exciting to read about, and that's just a few reasons on why this series will be cherished forever.
9. Karana from Island of the Blue Dolphins
I read just about any book that had a dolphin on the cover of it growing up, but there weren't many like Island of the Blue Dolphins. This book had me honestly wondering if I could make it on my own on a deserted island. Karana befriended wild dogs like it was nothing, and killed giant squid to survive. I mean, how much more badass can you get? Obviously we worshiped her like no tomorrow.
10. Amber Brown from the Amber Brown series
Growing up with divorced parents wasn't easy, and Amber Brown was the first to show us all that we weren't alone in feeling that way. When her best friend moved away and her father relocated for a job, we suddenly understood that when our best friends moved away or our parents separated, it wasn't the end of the world.
11. Judy Moody from the Judy Moody series
Sort of like Junie B. Jones, Judy Moody was another sassy character I wanted to be best friends with. With a feisty attitude and wacky hair, this girl was incredible. She loved to express herself, her interests, and never let anything hold her back. If those aren't good enough reasons to worship her, then I don't know what is.
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