Submitter: 25 – 30 years ago, my mom sometimes worked a shift at a tiny branch library near our home. The whole family has since moved away, but a few days ago we did a road trip and visited old friends, and we stopped by the lovely new branch library that has replaced the tiny old one. While browsing along the YA shelves, I was stunned to see these books, sad remnants of the entire series that once lived on the shelves. As a kid, I frequently saw these exact volumes and marveled at their ugliness. They were old and hideous then, and were probably largely responsible for my reluctance to read anything Anne-ish. (Jonathan Crombie later changed my mind, and I read them many times over — in new paperback editions!). I can’t BELIEVE these books are still there. Somebody chose to pack them up and move them to the new branch! And clearly, new generations of young readers are still refusing to pick them up, because they aren’t worn out YET.
Holly: Wow! They really should replace these with newly published copies with modern-looking covers. A brand-new, squeaky-clean library branch deserves some shiny new classics. These have what Mary calls “mom stink” on them. Anything mom loved or that looks like it came from mom’s era is an automatic no-go for some kids. Depending on the publication date of these copies, they might be collector’s items! In other words, inappropriate for your basic public library teen collection where they will not be carefully handled.
Submitter: I thought this was an awful book because first, I hate movie adaptation books as a genre; second, it’s SO old and dated—from my high school years—and I was embarrassed to see this movie when it came out (I didn’t, but my friends did); third, the dialogue and photos are just seriously cheesy; and finally, it looks like it might have been for school market distribution through Scholastic, which is just awful. I mean, god speed to the Coreys but they really needed to not make this as a movie, let alone a book.
Holly: Fun fact: A. L. Singer is the pseudonym for Peter Lerangis. I don’t really get the movie adaptation book thing either. Or TV shows, for that matter. God bless capitalism, I guess! If you can make an extra buck on something popular, have at it. This book held up pretty well for a paperback, but that could be because no one has laid hands on it in 20+ years.
Two Guys Noticed Me… and Other Miracles
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,
Your Mom’s Teen Fiction: