Hoarding is not collection development

Friday Fiction

Every Friday we feature a fiction title that showcases librarian/library themes, pulp fiction, old or odd titles. These aren’t necessarily awful!

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Friday Fiction: What Happened to Mr Forster?

What Happened to Mr. Forster?
Bargar
1981

This novel, aimed at upper elementary/young teens, is about 6th grader named Louis set in the late 1950s. Louis is surprised to discover that his teacher for the year is a man named Mr. Forster. Mr. Forster is a great teacher and spends a great deal of time with Louis, coaching him in softball and inspiring him to love writing. Suspicions grow about Mr. Forster’s bachelor status and male roommate. The community eventually ousts the teacher. Louis tries to reconcile the community’s actions with what he feels is right.

This book was published in 1981. I am pretty impressed that these themes were front and center in a youth lit book at this time. (For a time context, the American Psychiatric Association had only removed homosexuality from the DSM in 1972.) Is it worth hanging on to? I would probably give this book a qualified yes. This book does have some cultural significance. so it does belong in a library. Would today’s young people like the story? Maybe. Any ALB readers rember this title crossing your path in the olden days?

Mary

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Friday Fiction – True Meaning of Cleavage

The True Meaning of Cleavage
Fredericks
2003

Submitter: I am taking care of a much-neglected teen section at a public library, and I found this little gem in the stacks. The title is enough to make me wonder, but this book also hasn’t circulated since 2005. Nearly a decade on the shelf is long enough. If I ever get a chance to read the book, I’ll be sure to write in and let you all know the true meaning of cleavage.

Holly: Well, the title is certainly “titillating.” (Too far?) At first, I thought this was non-fiction, but thankfully it is clearly teen fiction. The description at Worldcat says, “When Jess and Sari, best friends since seventh grade, begin their freshman year of high school and Sari becomes obsessed with a senior boy, Jess wonders if their friendship will survive.” It sounds like any number of books in teen fiction, actually. I agree that sitting on a shelf for ten years makes it a weeding candidate. (It’s actually been sitting on my own library’s shelves since July of 2012, but has 35 total circulations so it hasn’t met the ax yet.)

More Teen Fiction:

High School Vigilantes

Teen Furries

Taffy Sinclair and the Romance Machine Disaster

Fear Street

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High School Vigilantes – Friday Fiction

The Emerson High Vigiantes
Miklowitz
1988

Paul Ross, nice guy editor of the Emerson High School paper is recruited for the Knights of Honor Society. They are all about justice and want to “clean up” the high school from all the bad elements. In other words, they want to be bad asses, but for a good cause. Of course things get out of hand. Now it’s hard to tell the “good” guys from the “bad” guys. Mom and Dad just don’t understand. Lots of teen drama for everyone

Mary

More Teen Angst:

Teen Furries

Fear Street

This Town is on Fire!

Dad’s not Drunk

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