My friend (who's also our school library media specialist) shared this link to an article "How Reader Girl Got Her Groove Back - one woman's heroic quest to overcome the classics" by Shannon Hale who published several popular young adult novels. It expresses my sentiments exactly, and it also supports Book Whisperer extraordinaire Donalyn Miller's disdain for classroom novel units - I hate "required" classroom reading that kills reading joy. When browsing Hale's web site, I found some neat articles she wrote for young writers on the writing process and also publishing.
Also, on a personal note, it's day 1 of my 8 year old daughter wearing glasses! She chose these funky plastic magenta frames and loves them! I have some angst as I think I gave her poor vision genes and remember hating my first pair at age 13.... but I'm not telling her (yet). I just don't want her to be like many middle school girls who pretend to not have or need glasses but clearly do.