bookish

Did Anyone Actually Read The Animorph Books?

Does anyone else remember the Animorph books? Those kids books with the amazing covers showing different kids (in very late 90’s styles) transforming into various animals. The best part of these ‘morphs’ was the wonderful the in-between phases of kid into animal, which produced so many hilarious images.

I have always remembered loving these books. I remember every time our grade school classes were allowed to go to the library I would immediately find the Animorph books to look at the cool covers.  So, whenever I go to a used book store I will usually glance at their kids section to see if they have any of these books. This winter I finally found the jack-pot of Animorph books, and they were only 2 bucks. So as a mature adult, I decided I needed to buy one. As such, I began the process of comparing the covers to find the silliest morph and while I was trying to choose between the anteater and the bat book, I decided that the bat book was slightly more hilarious looking.

I brought my prize home and once I had read the summary i realized that I don’t think I ever actually read these books. I asked a few people about these books, and while everyone I asked immediately remembered the covers, no one said they had read them either.

So, on my flight home from the holidays I endeavored to read my new book.  And in so doing, I think I can safely say that the covers of these books are by far the best thing about them. The covers are so creative and weird and strangely memorable. While the story, isn’t the best. I did have quite a lot of fun reading it, and narrating some choice passages though.

All of this is to ask the question, do you guys remember these books? Am I the only one who has such fond memories of these covers? If you do remember them, what cover if your favourite? I’d love to hear from you guys!

P.S. I just googled the series looking for a publication date, and I came across one where a girl morphs into a star fish. This is by far my new favourite cover, and I cannot for the life of me think of a situation where becoming a star fish would be at all helpful, which I think adds another level of fun!

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41 thoughts on “Did Anyone Actually Read The Animorph Books?”

  1. I remember the Animorphs books! My friends and I read some of them in elementary/middle school? Tobias was my favorite character at the time, though I don’t remember why. I think I stopped after the one where a boy is turning into a blue centaur looking alien on the cover.

    I’m pretty sure there’s something like a million (give or take) in the series, so I only scratched the surface. And I’m largely sure I wouldn’t remember the details of any of the ones I’ve read, so nobody quiz me. 😀

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  2. I loved looking at these books! I too never read them, but found the covers to be hilarious. I think I only ever came across one person in my life who read them, and I remember thinking at the time that it was weird that someone even found them interesting. But the covers were definitely the best.

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  3. Oh my gosh, I loved these books so much growing up! I still have my (incomplete) collection of them. :3 Ax was always my favorite. Actually, these books were pretty special to me, because reading about Cassie was the first time I ever remember encountering a character that looked and acted like me, and I was super excited about it. Even wanted to be a vet myself. 🙂

    The covers are pretty funky, though. Some of them creeped me out a bit when I was younger haha.

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  4. I remember the covers, for sure. However, I don’t think I ever read more than one or two. I can’t say for sure though, but I remember reading more Boxcar Children, Magic Tree House, and other series than those. The covers though, I could not forget. They are eye-catching!

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  5. The covers were so bad so I can see how people may have been put off reading them! I actually really enjoyed the ones I read and honestly, there were so many adult themes about war and PTSD that was unexpected at the time and for children’s books.

    It’s been years since I’ve read them and as I didn’t read them all I would do a re-read. I really liked the characters as well and how many of them subverted expectations. I think my favourite was Rachel. She was so interesting.

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  6. I read a few in the series edition which had a flip book effect of one person changing into something at the right hand bottom corner..the story got convoluted after a while and I could not get my hands on the books in order but I definitely remember enjoying the premise as being unique! It’s so cool to see it being discussed as a blog post 🙂

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  7. I had every single one, including the longer off-shoots (The Andalite Chronicles, The Hork-Bajir Chronicles, The Ellimist Chronicles), and you picked up one of the worst ones! These books were written by K.A. Applegate with help from her husband, but as the series went on, she was overwhelmed and picked up a couple of ghost writers for the serial so that she could work on the long-form off-shoots. They dealt with themes such as war, PTSD, killing for mercy, what it means to be human, environmentalism, theories of time and space, and also racism and classism. These books were amazing to read, and K.A. Applegate has gone on to win many, many awards for her writing. I did a re-read in 2018 and the series (though dated in terms of technology, malls, and the frequency with which teens go to video arcades), most of it still stands firm. Each character develops and intensifies as the series goes on, and the world-building was simply incredible. Not every individual serial book was great, but some of them were completely mind-blowing – the three books about the character David were something out of a psycho-thriller. I would give them a shot, they are quick reads, and it’s easy to fall into the world!

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  8. I read a few quite a number of them as a child. I think the last one I read ended with a disappointing deus ex machina.

    I’ve heard that the series as a whole ended on quite a downer. A couple of the animorphs died, and at least one of them goes to trial after the bad aliens are defeated because he committed a war crime. By the end of the big war, you’re left with mostly depressed and traumatized young adult superheros. Yeah, dark stuff.

    I remember the My Teacher is an Alien series more fondly. The series had a good resolution too, at least to my child’s mind. I liked that it was only 4 books and didn’t drag on, inventing new conflicts for the sake of selling more books.

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    1. Oh wow that is quite dark. The tone of the one book I read was very odd, as they found you can poison the aliens with oatmeal but it harms the host. Which lead to a bizarre discussion of ethics in war…

      I remember hearing about the My Teacher is an Alien series but I don’t think I every read it!

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  9. Thank you for reminding me about these – what a treat I had just now, googling images of the covers. You are RIGHT the Starfish one is hysterical, it’s definitely the best! I read many from this series and remember owning quite a few and really enjoying them. I’m sure the cat one was my favorite since I’m a total cat lady anyway. I honestly don’t remember much about the stories, I just know they brought me joy as a youngster… ❤

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