When we were in elementary school, my friends and I eagerly devoured the Anastasia Krupnik series by Lois Lowry. Anastasia was a girl just like me. She had long brown hair and wore glasses. Her little brother Sam was cute and annoying. (I have a little sister.) And she was a writer. She kept a notebook on hand at all times and wrote a lot. Even her brother gets his own book. All of them feature relatable experiences and characters. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud scrapes in which Anastasia gets herself. And there are a few life lessons sprinkled within them. Each of these is appropriate for upper elementary and middle school-aged children.
I am partial to the original covers, which were hand drawn and really seemed to capture the young prepubescent angst of our friend Anastasia. But, to update the series and to entice new, younger readers, they changed them to a real photograph of a cute and happy girl. Whatever draws in the readers, right?
Click on a book cover below to take a closer look at the series and to start your own collection.
Anastasia is ten years old. She is a poet who prefers the style of ee cummings, but her teacher doesn't understand. She is forced to visit her grandmother who can't even remember her name. Her crush, Washburn Cummings, doesn't even know she is a live. And her parents are going to have a baby! Can things possibly get any worse?
Anastasia is now 12. She is disgusted to learn that her family is going to move out of the city and into the suburbs. Now she has to deal with shallow people who care more about matching furniture and ring around the collar, instead of the finer things in life. Oh, but wait! There is a cute boy who lives down the street from her new house....perhaps suburbia won't be so bad, after all?
Anastasia at Your Service
There is nothing that Anastasia hates more than being bored. But when her best friend decides to go away for summer camp, that is precisely what is destined to happen. So, Anastasia puts out an ad offering to be a Lady's Companion. That way she can make some money AND not be bored. In typical Anastasia style, she ends up being humiliated and making some huge mistakes along the way. You'll cringe while chuckling as she stumbles through her summer.
Anastasia at This Address
13 year-old Anastasia has a vivid imagination and a knack for writing that can easily get her into trouble. She finds a dreamy ad in the personals section that seems almost too good to be true. She decides to start up a correspondence, never dreaming that he will ever want to really meet her! What should she do?
Anastasia on Her Own
Anastasia thinks that her mother's life is too chaotic. She has the answer! She sets up the Krupnik Family Nonsexist Housekeeping Schedule to make their lives easier. But life doesn't fit into a neat little list all of the time. Anastasia learns a hard lesson when her mother goes to California on a business trip for ten days and she takes over the household. Sam comes down with the chicken pox. Her dad's ex-girlfriend invites herself over for dinner. And Anastasia is trying to plan her dream dinner date with Steve Harvey. Can she pull it all off? With the help of the new Krupnik Romantic Dinner Week Schedule, anything is possible!
Anastasia Has the Answers
Anastasia has officially decided to become a journalist. After all, they can answer any of life's tough questions, right? So then why can't she please her gym teacher? Why does she have to climb those stupid ropes in gym class, anyway? And why are Daphne's parents getting a divorce? Perhaps she can find the answers when she works on a surprise for the group of foreign educators who come to visit her school.
Anastasia is supposed to mail a package for her mother. So, she takes her new dog Sleuth with her. Only, she gets distracted and accidentally mails the doggy doo, instead. She tries to figure out what to do to fix her problem. But then the police confiscate the mailbox. Anastasia is convinced that she has committed a serious crime and is going to jail.
Anastasia's Chosen Career
Anastasia needs to work on an assignment called "My Chosen Career." She has decided that she wants to be a bookstore owner and plans to interview one. But first, she needs to develop some confidence and poise. She decides to take a class in modeling. So should she be a bookstore owner or a model?
Anastasia, Ask Your Analyst
No one seems to understand Anastasia. Her parents are an embarrassment and her little brother is a genius. They can't be normal like her. But perhaps Anastasia is the one who is abnormal? Her parents disagree and refuse to send her to an analyst for help. So, like usual, Anastasia takes matters into her own hands....