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teen fiction

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Friday Fiction: Sweet Valley High Lives!

Sweet Valley HighFrancine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High

I am a little too old for Sweet Valley High, but I have many friends that say this is THE teen fiction of the 1980s.  One librarian friend and I used to debate the merits of keeping this series in the collection. She started taking pictures of teens with the book to “prove” that it was still the best series ever. Eventually, the 80s versions were retired.

In this episode, bad girl Molly is in a tailspin of despair ever since Regina Morrow died at her party doing a bit of cocaine. She is grounded forever and is trying to put her life together. Of course this makes her vulnerable to the bad boy drug dealer, Buzz. (He is college aged!) Naturally, running away to Mexico with this guy sounds like a plan. Will this fix her problems? Stay tuned!

If anyone cares, I had that exact hair style back in the mid 1980s.


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Friday Fiction – David & Della

David and Della cover

David & Della

I don’t think I need to say much about this book.

But I will.

That cover! What the heck is up with that cover?? Is that a bottle of booze she’s holding? Klassy.

The best part, though, is the line from Horn Book Magazine at the bottom of the cover that says, “Reads like greased lightning.” That oughta reel ’em in!

The story is that David is a teenage playwright. He has a bit of writers block since an incident with this girlfriend. Then comes Della, an eccentric writing coach who helps him out. She inspires him; becomes his muse, but the more he writes, the more he learns about Della – and the more shocking it all becomes.

Aaaand we’re back to that cover. I’m sorry, but people do judge books by their covers. It might be outrageous enough for teens to pick it up and laugh at it. Like anything – if it circulates in your community and you have space for it, by all means keep it. We’re updating around here.


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Friday Fiction – Paul Zindel

Girl Who Wanted a BoyThe Girl Who Wanted a Boy

Awwww…Paul Zindel! I loved his books when I was a sappy, shallow, hormonal teenager in the mid-1980s. Mary and I always say that if the books in the teen or youth collection are older than the audience they are intended for, they’re always worth a second look and often worth weeding. Paul Zindel is no exception.

This poor girl in the Chewbacca coat (did teenagers ever wear fur??) wants a boy so badly, but her “problem,” apparently, is that the James Dean boy from the cover won’t like her because she’s mechanically inclined and likes science. What she really should do is learn to play pinball and ditch the textbook. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

This poor, deluded girl tries so hard to make a boy like her. She even gets caught in class reading “How to Pick Up Boys” instead of doing school work.

I have teenage nieces (shout out to Haley and Heidi!), and I am proud to say that they are smart, they like science, and they are not at all boy crazy. They are lovely girls, sappy hormones and all. Please, girls, NEVER READ THIS BOOK.



Aunt Holly

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