Monday, July 22, 2013

Celebrating 25 Years of Christy Miller

I can still remember my excitement when I opened a present from my grandparents one Christmas only to discover the Christy Miller BOXED SET! I believe I was in the 7th grade that year, and this was the one gift on my wish list that I wanted more than anything. The books had been featured in Brio magazine several months prior, and it sounded like something I would enjoy. I circled the set on the order form that month and gave it to my mom ... and did the same thing for the next several months until Christmas. (Very subtle, huh?)

I immediately set out to read the entire series. I remember reading them on the school bus to and from school, reading them in the gym before school each morning (I even lost the seventh book in the series in the bleachers in the gym ... I'm still a little devastated about that one.), and every night before bed. I loved them. (Y'all ... I was the biggest nerd bookworm!)

Christy was a girl I could relate to. She was a "good girl"—though not perfect—who was learning what it meant to follow Jesus. In many ways, our journeys through those angst-filled teenage years was similar. She wanted boys to like her, struggled in her friendships with girls, argued with her parents, picked on her brother. She had friends who got into some major trouble and worried about how to help them. She was tempted to sin and made bad choices. But overall, her love for the Lord and her desire to follow Jesus shone through the entire series. 

My friends and I passed the books back and forth (except for #7, which had to be borrowed from the library) and talked about Christy as though she was a close friend. We shared "God things" that were happening in our lives and all around us. In a lot of ways, sharing the books cemented our friendship, which could have easily gone by the wayside as we were scattered across four different middle schools. Even as we got older, made it through high school, and parted ways for college, Christy Miller would come up from time to time.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the first Christy Miller book being published! While it makes me feel a little old to realize how long ago middle school was (not quite 25 years ago!), I've been thinking back on some fond memories centered around these books. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Robin Jones Gunn for writing this series that meant so much to me and my friends during such a crazy time in life!!! While Christy was a fictitious character, this series assured us that other girls were going through the same things that we were going through and gave us hope that things would eventually turn around.

Robin is hosting a celebration giveaway on her website to celebrate this momentous occasion. Download an mp3 of the first book in the series. Plus, TEN $25 gift cards are up for grabs so be sure to check out the details here!

Have any of you read the Christy Miller series? Did you love them as much as I did? What do you remember most about Christy and/or the series?

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