6th Grade Really Kill You cover

Friday Fiction: 6th Grade Can Really Kill You

6th Grade Can Really Kill You
DeClements
1985

Just recently we posted the book called How do you lose those 9th grade blues? with the ultra creepy older boyfriend? This another book in the series, where Elsie is a background player to Helen. Helen has some sort of learning disability and also acts up. She struggles with reading and is called dumb (and worse). Naturally, not all the teachers can see this problem and are just awful and inflexible. A new teacher sees the problem and wants Helen in a special education program. Helen’s mom doesn’t want her in a “special” class due to embarrassment and the stigma.

He Gave Her Roses cover

Choose Your Own Sex Adventure

He Gave Her Roses
Grove
1990

Submitter: This book is a “choose-your-own-ending” type of book about dating, but with a heavy religious theme, full of fear, shame, and judgement; and putting all the responsibility on the girl. In my opinion, it has no place in a public library to begin with, but it’s been sitting on my library’s YA shelves since 1990, even though it had not been checked out in over six years, and only a few times total. The cover art is horrendous, the girl looks like either a mannequin or corpse, and the story is even worse.

Stacey has her first serious boyfriend and is faced with deciding to have sex. In some of the paths, she ends up pregnant, and may have an abortion, give up the baby, or keep it. She may or may not marry the father, may or may not finish school. The ending that caught my eye was the one where she went to college and started dating a nice Christian boy, but then he dumps her when he finds out she’s not a virgin. But she doesn’t blame him, she just wonders if she will ever find anyone to love her. You know, now that she’s damaged goods and all. Just gross!

Holly: That’s a new one: Choose your own sex adventure.

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9th Grade Angst-Friday Fiction

How do you lose those 9th grade blues
DeClements
1984

Today’s selection is definitely dated and for extra giggles, a bit creepy. This book is the second in the Elsie series by DeClements. The first book is Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade, where we meet Elsie Edwards. Elsie is the proverbial “fat girl” and is struggling with weight.

In this sequel, Elsie is a girl who has lost the weight and now is deemed pretty by her peers. But wait, she is still not happy! Elsie can’t believe boys are interested in her. But wait! A senior boy named Craddoc (what is with this name?) starts asking Elsie out and eventually they start dating.

Craddoc is a football player and kind of the “it” guy at high school. Elsie initially thinks this is weird since she is a freshman and he is a senior. I got ick vibes from the get go. Then I read read Craddoc’s line to Elsie: “maybe it’s lucky I got you so young so I can train you.” (Run Elsie, this guy is no good!)

mothers boyfriend cover

My mom is dating a creep – Friday Fiction

My Mother’s Boyfriend and Me
Jacoby
1987

This title gave me the creeps. Evidently Laurie’s mom (widowed when Laurie was a baby) went off the rails and starting dating a very cool dude named “Blue” (cuz of his eyes!). Two week after meeting this dude, Mom invites Blue to move in. Laurie notices that the guy is creeping on her and tries to tell Mom, but she defends Blue. Seriously, the guy’s nickname is Blue and he wears a gold chain and his shirt partially unbuttoned-even in the 1980s that was a creepy kind of look.

My Date with Satan cover

Friday Fiction: My Date with Satan

My Date with Satan: Stories
Richter
1999

Submitter: We are conducting a pretty thorough weeding of our adult fiction at our public library to make room for a new graphic novel section, and I found this short story collection as I made my way through the Rs. I have no idea how this “jewel” of a book survived in our collection until now.

Holly: Here’s a perfect example of “your mileage may vary.” Assuming submitter knows their community and their readers and their collection philosophy, this might certainly be an “awful library book” at their library! If nothing else, it’s funny, and sometimes we’re just after a laugh around here.

(Click through for full post…)

J.T. cover

Friday Fiction: J.T.

J.T.
Wagner
1969

Submitter: This library book is still out there, living in a public library in NY. As soon as I read the first  sentence inside the front cover, I knew I should submit it here. Published in 1969, it is a sad story about a sweet boy who is trying his best. The language however is so out of date it’s almost alarming! Pictures by Gordon Parks Jr. wouldn’t even have me keeping this, if it were in my library.

Holly: Apparently there’s a movie of this book, and you can watch it here. The shadowy pictures and the pure outdatedness (do kids know what a transistor radio is?) make this an easy weeder for most public and school libraries.

Amos Fortune

Friday Fiction: Amos Fortune: Free Man

Amos Fortune: Free Man
Yates
1951

Submitter: Somehow this book from 1951 was still on the shelf, maybe because of that shiny Newbery sticker on the cover. Or maybe it just got overlooked. Either way, a story of a slave written in the 50s is likely going to be questionable today, and I would say this one is. Descriptions comparing Black characters to dogs and untamed animals are jarring. The idea that Africans needed to be civilized before they could handle freedom seems to be presented not as something that many people wrongly believed at the time but as actually being true. At one point it is spoken directly from the still-enslaved main character himself. With some guidance and discussion, this book could be instructive of assorted historical and current trends in racist thought and language, but the public library kids biography section isn’t the place for that.

dr anne cover

Friday Fiction: Next Patient, Doctor Anne

Next Patient, Dr Anne
Gilzean
Original publication: 1959

For today’s #FridayFiction, I am indulging in my love of nurse romance with this oldie, but goodie. Dr Anne is somewhat unusual for the nurse romance genre, since this woman decides to be a DOCTOR! Best of all, she actually becomes a doctor. Anne fails her entrance exam, while boyfriend Jonathon heads off to medical school without her. She spends the next year working and studying and then finally is accepted. Jonathon, is already there and is evidently not the same guy she knew when she was planning her life. There are a few hints that he isn’t the one from the get go. However, fellow doctor pal Bill, who was not quite on Anne’s love radar, professes his love for Anne.

Given the pub date, I was so glad that Anne did not quit medicine to “be a real woman”. She struggles and makes mistakes, gets yelled at by nurses, and works hard. I like that she is not necessarily portrayed as some serene goddess of perfection. She seems to mature through the book as both an adult woman and a doctor.