Here’s a list of bad 80s teen fiction. Enjoy!
Anything to Win
Holly: Oh, the 80s. That hair. That over sized sweater. This is the story of a high school football player who takes steroids so he can get a college football scholarship. At least his motives are good. I would have thought from the cover that he was trying to impress the girl.
Hey Kid, Does She Love Me? A Novel
No More Saturday Nights
Submitter: Clearly it was fashionable for young boys to carry babies on their backs in the 1980s. I am pretty sure no one at my high school would want to be seen carrying around these gems.
Holly: The babies, or the books? Ha!
Submitter: At first, I only considered submitting “Oh, Rick!” because I already disposed of our library’s copy of The Rugrats First Kwanzaa. (I’m not kidding.) Neither title belongs in a current middle school library. The more I looked at Oh, Rick!, the more awful it was. Oh, Rick! is dated in appearance and content. It’s an odd small size, which caught my notice as I was straightening a shelf. It must have been thought of as cute and high interest somewhere between the 1978 and 1984 copyright dates. Even the cover pictures on my own personal stash of 1980s Silhouette and Sweet Dreams romances look fresher and more current, and I literally couldn’t give them away to students from our free shelf of discards. The main character, Beth Canning, goes to a “fat farm” and loses 23 pounds in 10 days so that she can attract the attention of dreamy Rick. She returns to school on Hush Day, when the boys wear button pins that say HUSH. They aren’t allowed to talk, or the girls can take their Hush buttons. Beth causes such a stir with her weight loss that boys just can’t restrain from commenting on her lost weight: “You’ve scraped off some lard, kid. Lose a bit more, and I might even ask you out.” Beth gets 11 of the boys’ Hush buttons! She is thrilled, even though it’s not enough to make her Hush Princess like Julie Baker with her 25 buttons. Rick gives up his Hush button just so he can ask Beth out on a date. Maybe he’ll even ask her to the May Day dance!
It’s No Crush, I’m In Love!
Submitter: Creepy and totally inappropriate for any library. I found this in our Catholic High School library. Though, I do like the Tom Selleck style of the teacher who is chewing on the tip of his glasses with a thoughtful expression on his face.
Holly: Poor Jenny and Mary have to fend for themselves while their mother chases the spotlight. Mom is styling in those leg warmers and pompoms on her skates!
Space Station Seventh Grade
Submitter: While I’m sure it’s a great book and it’s a well known author, they picked an unfortunate scene for the cover. When I showed it to a coworker she didn’t understand why I was discarding it. She thought maybe it was about a group of gay boys in seventh grade and then the picture would fit the story. I told her that whether that was true or not, it was still inappropriate. I read the book to try and figure it out and apparently the boys are making fun of a female teacher. They could have picked a better scene to depict on the cover, now it is stereotyped and few (if any) boys would ever read this.
Holly: They probably don’t want to read it because it is old and irrelevant. There’s probably 80s slang that just sounds stupid to kids today. The cover is a little strange. Why are three of them looking directly into the “camera”? What are they looking at??