babysitting cover

Babysitting Basics

Babysitting
Dayee
1990

I’m going to have to award this book “Most boring cover art”. Seriously, this book design looks like they had some bad wallpaper laying around and someone said, “hey put that on a book, the teens will love it.”

Cover “art” not withstanding, the content isn’t too bad. The book is written in scenarios and then there is a brief discussion. There is also a business like theme so kids think about this professionally, including interviewing. The general advice is okay, but the technology available these days (cell phones, nanny cams, etc) definitely needs to be discussed for the 21st century babysitters.

get help cover

Get some help!

Get Help
Solving the Problems in Your Life
Gilbert
1989

This is essentially a directory of agencies and organizations aimed at young people with problems. In 1989, this would be a reasonable purchase for a teen nonfiction collection. However, in 2022 this is simply taking up shelf space. It would never occurr to a teen to use a book to look up an organization. This book should have been tossed with all the telephone books and other directories when the Internet took over the job of being a giant directory.

how to talk to boys cover

Boys are important people!

How To Talk To Boys
and Other Important People
Winters
1983

Girls, here is your chance to get a boy to like you. Are you shy? This book has all the right things to say, so you can get the boyfriend of your dreams!

This book is a bit much for 1983. I am not sure that today’s teens would find anything remotely useful in this book. I doubt this advice would work in 1983 as well. This book gives advice on what to say, with some help from Barbara Walters! There is advice on how to be a good listener (aka shut up and let the boy talk). Good grooming is essential. In other words, looks count.

coping with shyness cover

Don’t be Shy!

Coping With Shyness
Gelinas
1987

This title is bothersome. Shyness, according to the author, is a problem that needs treating. Throughout the book, there are discussions of paralyzing fear and how this is a severe “personality problem.” I think what the author is describing is severe anxiety. I am a little disturbed by the use of shyness as a catch-all term for descriptions of serious mental health issues.

Although this is a part of a series aimed at teens, the reading isn’t so teen friendly. I also think most teens would balk at this description. Lumping in more than several mental conditions into a term like shyness is a bad idea. I am not even sure it is a clinical term. I think most people define shyness as a reluctance to situations that involve a lot of new people or new situations.

make-up Magic cover

How about some make-up?

Make-up Magic
Van Hazinga
1987

What make-up goes best with big hair and leg warmers? For that complete 1980s look, you can learn some nifty techniques to make your eyes, cheeks, and lips ready for that next school dance or for an 1970s-80s David Bowie Cosplay.

Make-up, fashion, and hair books, need to be weeded more often than you think. Aside from changing styles, many of these books will reference products that are no longer available. This book is aimed at teen girls so being extra conscious of issues of body issues, diversity, inner beauty should also be considered. That said, this little artifact from the 1980s should be weeded from the collection as soon as possible. I doubt that Mom’s (or possibly Grandma) choices in make-up would be any teen’s first choice.

new young ideas in decorating cover

Groovy Teen Decor

New Young Ideas in Decorating
Walton
1970

Groovy teens everywhere will want to get their own rooms in shape…just like Grandma. All the decorating fads of the late 1960s and the early 1970s are here. Street signs? Check. Beaded curtains? Check. Gauzy drapes? Check. Peace sign? Double check. In 1970 this would have been nice choice for the young adult collection. The entire book reminded me of Rhoda’s Minneapolis apartment from the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Class pictures cover

More Teen Angst for #FridayFiction

Class Pictures
Sachs
1980

We have more teen angst for #fridayfiction today. Pat and Lolly met in kindergarten. The story is told by Pat. Using the class pictures from each year, Pat details the rocky road of this friendship. Pat is from a single parent household that is struggling and Lolly is from a wealthy family. Lolly’s mother isn’t a big fan of Pat, until she selected for a gifted/talented class. In the beginning, Pat was the popular one and by the time junior high school rolled around, Lolly was the beauty.

For the middle school crowd, this has that drama that most girls can relate to at that age. I don’t think there is a woman alive (maybe the guys too?) that didn’t have anxiety about who they were and where they fit in. Teen and pre-teen angst is always good fodder for the young adult set.