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Talkin ‘Bout My Generation

ALB’s wonderful Young Adult Collection

A Classic Cover?

The Pirate City
Ballantyne
2008

Submitter: For your consideration, a 2008 edition of The Pirate City by Robert Michael Ballantyne that we found lurking in the YA collection of a public library.  Originally published in 1874, this book for “boys” covers events leading to Lord Exmouth’s expedition in Algiers in 1816. At this time, Algerian pirates were raiding American and European ships, enslaving nearly a million white captives. However, my nomination of this book has nothing to do with the dense 19th-century prose with Eurocentric and Christian overtones, but lies with the cover of this edition. The cover depicts some sort of a clone army, with machine guns and helmets. And with the strange pinkish sky, this looks like the book is set on another planet.  Could the helmets be oxygen masks? Does it take place on Mars? In any event, the cover certainly does not depict Algerian pirates or British soldiers in the early 1800s.  Despite this bait-and-switch cover art, teens stayed away, leading to its withdrawal for lack of circulation. Now it is off to the Friends of the Library book sale–wonder if there will be any takers?

Holly: This is a very strange choice of covers for this book. The content also sounds kind of dense for a YA collection, but that’s another matter. At first glance, I assumed it was a science fiction novel – and the teens probably did too.

More Weird Covers:

Friday Fiction – Questionable Cover Art

Friday Fiction –  Sense and Sensibility

Friday Fiction – Venusia

Evolving Cover Art?

WTF Cover Art: Timepivot

 

Your Guide to Cool

The Cool Book
A Teen-Ager’s Guide to Survival in a Square Society
Unger
1961

Teens! Do you feel out of the loop? Do you feel you don’t understand all the “squares” trying to make you fit in? Time to be COOL! This book has all the info you need to be one of the cool kids at school. This book will help you figure out all the cool and hilarious rules for dating,  necking, breaking up, and meeting a dreamboat of a guy. Be sure to read some of the sample pages. Best of all, this book has some of the best cool jokes and insults (example: “Aren’t you Lana Turner’s sister, Stomach Turner?”).

Working on my cool factor,

Mary

More Teen Advice from Yesteryear:

Getting High

Suicide DIY?

Your Guide To Married Life

Leave Room for the Holy Spirit

Get a Job

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Two Guys! No Waiting!

2 guys noticed me teen fiction cover

Two Guys Noticed Me… and Other Miracles
Sharmat
1990 (original copyright 1985)

Our gal Jody dumped her boyfriend Matt and is now dating Travis. However, Travis and Matt are bitter rivals and Jody seems to be stuck in the middle. But wait, just as she is wrapping her head around two different guys, her mother shows up after abandoning her family for more than two years.

Marjorie Sharmat has been a library staple for decades. (Nate the Great books circulate like mad at my library.) From the reviews, I think this story might still work for today’s YA audience, but I doubt the kids could get past the cover art. In my opinion, cover art is EVERYTHING. No one wants to read a book that has cover art straight out of Mom’s high school year book.

Break out your leg warmers and cuddle up with some teen romance from the 80s,

Mary

 

Your Mom’s Teen Fiction:

Please Take Me to Prom

Love on the Computer

The Day the Senior Class Got Married

Too Many Boys!

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