15 Books Every Nerdy Girl Read Growing Up

by Alex Weiss

Whether you were born into a 'nerdy' family and grew up surrounded by books or found the book nerd path all by yourself, there's no denying that certain books helped shape your geeky mind. Growing up in the '90s, you had a TON of great children and middle grade books to choose from. You read fictional tales that could relate to your own experiences in school and fun fantasy stories that kept your imagination active. You read books based on facts, books based on silly thoughts, books based of all different sorts — and there was no stopping you.

As a nerdy little girl myself, nothing made me more excited than getting my library card and heading down the hall towards my favorite place in school. And now as an adult, not much has changed. I spend my weekends in bookstores, libraries, and at literary festivals. Nothing makes me happier than a good nerdy book, and it also warms my heart just as much to see other little girls get excited at finding a fun new book.

From the classics like Matilda to the crazy series like Animorphs and The Magic Treehouse, take a walk down memory lane with these 15 books your nerdy little self read growing up:

1. Matilda by Roald Dahl

As a nerdy little girl, it didn't take long for a smart teacher or knowing parent hand you this gem. It wasn't long before you fell in love with the intelligent and witty young Matilda.

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2. Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

You probably read all of the Little House on the Prairie books because a part of you constantly wondered what it would be like to live way back in the 1800s. Because of this series you thought churning butter was cool and playing in big wide fields sounded awesome — so it didn't take long for you to beg your parents to try some of these old fashion ways out.

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3. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

You were definitely a little freaked out by this book, but at the same time you loved it. Any nerdy girl got caught up in this twisted story and immediately searched for a secret cupboard in your house... or any house you entered.

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4. Amelia Bedilia by Peggy Parish

Even though Amelia Bedilia follows all the rules, things still end up turning out quite differently than expected for her. You loved that concept as a nerdy little girl. You loved to try new things and quickly learned from experimenting and this series that finding a new way to solve a problem or creating something different isn't a bad thing.

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5. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle

If you were the nerdy science girl in class that silently celebrated whenever you got to experiment with chemicals or study astronomy and physics, then there's no doubting you were a big fan of A Wrinkle in Time. The story of Meg and her little brother in search of their missing father, lost in space and time, was quite an exciting one for any nerdy reader.

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6. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

I remember reading this as a class and falling absolutely in love with tiny mice characters unlike any other animal book I'd read before. Despereaux led some exciting adventures, all of which I'm fairly certain every nerdy girl remembers pretty dang well.

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7. Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate

Let's be honest, the Animorphs group of friends were awesome, and you wanted to so badly be included in their exciting alien invaded life. As each character morphed into a different animal, you learned new things, like how to outsmart a smart alien race, which definitely came in handy during your nerdy, imagined adventures.

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8. Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine

The nerds and cool kids all ready Goosebumps, but us nerds religiously kept up with the series and probably got a bit too into it. We liked feeling a little spooked, and loved trying to rationalize why our toys wouldn't come to life and how our houses weren't actually haunted.

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9. The Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole

Obviously you watched the show, but when it wasn't on (which was unfortunately fairly often) you had the books to keep you company. Learning new things about the environment, bodily functions, animals, and so much more was incredibly exciting with Ms. Frizzle and the rest of the gang. There was a big part of you — one that's probably still there — that wanted to be a student in her class SO badly.

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10. The Stinky Cheese Man: And Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka

This book was just flat out fun to read with its eclectic style, mix of pictures and text, and overall strangeness. You couldn't help but laugh and enjoy these reimagined fairy tales way more than the original stories of The Ugly Duckling or The Three Little Pigs.

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11. The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne

Before your nerdy self got into Doctor Who, you had a different time traveling box that wasn't blue and didn't make a wheezing noise — a treehouse. And your time traveling friends were Jack and Annie, as they visited the era of the dinosaurs and walked on the moon, adventures you loved every second of.

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12. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Basically everyone read Harry Potter, but only you in all your nerdy glory became so obsessed that you spent entire nights just imagining life as a witch or wizard. You recommended it to everyone who hadn't read it, and once the series started to become popular, you were at every HP event, bought every piece of HP merchandise your parents allowed, and found a way to surround your entire life with the series.

13. DK Eyewitness Books

These aren't fictional books, but you definitely read many — if not all — of these. Learning was so much fun with these books, especially as a young nerd who just wasn't satisfied without constantly reading up on new facts about astronomy and robots and ancient Egypt.

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14. The Girl with the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts

After reading Matilda, you adored The Girl with Silver Eyes who also has telekinesis, and realizes she doesn't fit in anywhere her and her mother go until she finds a group of kids just like her. This is one book that has special meaning to you, and one you'd probably still love reading as an adult now.

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15. The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis

Before there was Harry Potter, you had C.S. Lewis' series to explore. Whether your parents read this to you at bedtime, or you found it on your own, you secretly wished you had a magical wardrobe that led to another world (and let's be real, you totally pretended you did).

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