I grew up in a small Canadian town in the 80’s , born in the
late 70’s okay if you want to do the math 1976. No I did not go to school
on sled dogs. I didn’t call hats, toques , and I am not fluent in french ,
in fact it was my worse subject in school. Our culture wasn’t much different
from our brother country America and to be honest a lot of us didn’t
watch Canadian t.v.!
Growing up in the 80’s was a blast,
I loved it! The toys were cool – the pogo ball, care bears,
Jem dolls, Mattell Fashion plates, colorforms, shrinky dinks,
Crayola crafts, the music was fun – Wham – Wake me up before
you go-go, Eurythmics – Right by your Side ,Katrina and the Waves –
Walking on Sunshine. Even the commercials were awesome – I’ve
still got jingles from the 80’s rattling around in my head!
Why did I want to do a website when their were hundreds of sites
out there dedicated to the 80’s? I was searching for a list
of Wildfire books one day and nada , nothing , I checked First
Love from Silhouette still nothing – the only websites out
there seemed to be dedicated to Sweet Valley High or
the Babysitters Club – no offense I mean I love both series
but c’mon there were hundreds, I discovered, of series out there!
Poor neglected series, that nobody had anything to say about.
No love of great book cover artwork , no groan worthy arguements of how
cliche, no debates ( like is it just me or is SVH just a
bloated version of the Archie comics?) , no history! I decided it was time to
knuckle down and create myself a blog I wanted. It wasn’t
easy – when I grew up in the 80’s I didn’t snatch up every
book possible – in fact I only collected 5 series avidly –
The Babysitter’s Club , Sweet Valley High , Sweet Valley Twins,
Sleepover Friends and The Fabulous Five. Then towards the
end of the decade when Yes , I know I was much too old –
I collected all of Three of a Kind ( Totally underrated series )
and what I thought was all of The Party Line – the stores I
shopped at actually stopped carrying them after book six and
for a decade I thought the series ended at book six.
My love for books was always mixed , in a home that frequently
used layaway at Woolco’s, Towers and KMart ( almost and defunct department
stores ), my money was always in limbo between toys , then
make up & clothes or books. Fortunatly I got a windfall of
cash via my grandma ( thank you! thank you! ) and I was
able to invest more money in paperbacks. And my tastes
were thankfully lowbrow. My first series book
ever , was way before that – An older girl, Rita? , supercool
who looked exactly like the girl on the cover of Caprice’s #73 Madly in
Love (check out my neon article for a glimpse) was cleaning
out her room one day and offered me a paperback of Wildfire’s
No Boys By Mclure Jones. I loved it! Up until then I’d been
subject to reading Barbapapa I was only about 8 , Judy Blume’s
Blubber and Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great and my
fave Judy B book – Tiger Eyes. I didn’t exactly switch
overnight to a series-aholic , in fact my school library
didn’t exactly stock a lot and my friends
were no help. We weren’t exactly bookworms. However in
grade 5? one of my friends had started in on the Babysitters
Club and infected the rest of us. I remember it clearly her
foisting a copy of #3 The Truth about Stacey into my hands
urging – you have to read this! From that day I was hooked.
My series lust toned down as I got older and I stopped buying.
I mean Sweet Valley High could chug on forever but I wasn’t
exactly interested when they changed the covers and it
became clear that other changes ( shudder ) had come into order
– Jessica in love with a vampire – pul-ease. And I wasn’t
even a buffy fan. I checked out the Babysitters club movie
and series and The Sweet Valley High series – my excitment
sapped in a moment of acute embarrassment – this
is the best they could do? 90210 was more Sweet Valley
than Sweet Valley and The Babysitters club while cringe
indusing has, for me, now, a strange charm like Degrassi’s
clumsy-honesty. It wasn’t until years later that my
passion was refired.
I was heavy into Ebay – buying, selling and scoured
local bookstores, thriftstores, and flea markets for
items and one day this flea market near by ( which
by the way still has items sitting there collecting
dust from 1998 ) decided to briefly open up it’s basement
to vendors ( I say briefly because it was quickly closed due to
fire regulations. ) I was gleeful – new junk! and came
across a box full of teen books ,I sifted through it and
did a double take at what I found – I mean it was errie,
I thought was there some weird spin off of Sweet Valley
High that eluded me, had Jennifer the fake triplet
from Sweet Valley Twins become a ‘real’ character?
I picked up the book – it was a series book I had never
seen in all my used book store purusing – It was
called Dream Girls and the cover art was done
by Sweet Valley High artist – James Mathewuse. I promptly
bought it for fifty cents and took it home. The internet
was just in it’s baby steps and I couldn’t find any
information but I wondered – how many series
were actually out there? How many had I missed or
over looked. I can’t say that I never had the opportunity
to purchase Dream Girls – but I never recalled it.
It’s not like Seniors which I had deliberately skipped
over and Sisters due more to allowance evaporation
than choice. From then on it’s been like a quest –
even a treasure hunt – I’m quite daffy about it
, I even carry around a cheap dollar
store address book where I’ve listed all the series
in their proper a-z list numbering all the books I need.
My friends have been both supportive and slight-eyebrow
lifting – they ask and who reads this website? I guess
I’d be a little bummed if no one checked out my site but
mainly I decided to put it on because I wanted the site
for myself, years ago when I was frustrated at never
being able to find lists of Sweet Dreams or wondered
if Pen Pals was the only boarding school series other
than the Girls of Canby Hall. Since I’ve started collecting
I’ve actually kindof relived the 80’s it’s a lot like
time traveling, if in only for an hour with a good book.
I’ve read series I’ve never read before – The Girls of Canby
Hall , Hearts and Diamonds and more and more and I love them!
The idea to pair them up with a bit of 80’s pop culture
came when I reread Sleepover Friends #Patti Gets Even
and came to the part when Patti dances with the robot
oddjob and I immediately thought of Ally Sheedy cutting a
rug with Short Circut! The
website really developed some polish when one of my fav used
bookstores was trying to get rid of old stock and offered –
fill a box for five bucks and I totally wiped out
most of their young adult stock – I was in series
heaven! I managed to snag all the Pen Pals, Merivale Mall,
quite a bit of Sweet Dreams & Crosswinds, Girls of
Canby Hall, all of On Our Own , and oodles of
others. I don’t have every book , yet, but I’ve got
quite a few. I’d love more interaction with my
readers – I mean if you’ve got a fave book let me
know, or if you’ve got a question like a mystery
book you’re trying to recall the name of
don’t be shy ( just specific – try and recall as
much information, especially if the book was a series )
and I’ll give it a shot to find it. I’m trying to
incorporate more non-series 80’s books because
my shelves are running over with them
and hope to eventually have
a coherent list either of authors and books
or meld them into my, for now stagnate, 80’s
Dictionay – under headings like Camp – as in
camp books – i.e. Hail Hail Camp Timberwood.
I’m discovering most people remember subjects
better than authors and or titles.
Also I love to know if I’ve missed a series!
Oh and if you’re wondering about the name Cliquey Pizza
why Cliquey Pizza , I’ve read tons of children’s
literature studies ( yup I read stuff besides teen
books – though they’re not as fun ) , who basically
write off series fiction as low brow and garbage
one called it bubblegum for the brain – I love
that junk food! and since the 80’s was
totally into Pizza – Pizza hut ,Show Biz pizza ,
Mothers Pizza , Pizza Pizza – I’m gonna quit now
you get the picture – what was more junky than
pizza? And as for Cliquey well the 80’s was
the ultimate in Clique-dom!( not to mention
the series fiction usually featured gangs of
girls – who might not use the c word but were
definitly cliquey ) – There you go – Cliquey
Pizza. P.s. I’m thinking of opening a Swap /sell
page where readers can ask for others willing
to swap certain 80’s books however I’m unsure
if anyone would be interested and I’m unsure if
I want to undergo the responsibility if snags
happen it would have to be totally at-your-own-risk
sorta thing but if anyone’s interested let me
know. We could run it through the comments on
a certain page. Thanks for checking in and –
Enjoy the ride.
June 2015 M T W T F S S « Oct 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
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- Carmel on 80’s Wildfire teen Romances – Ultimate Page – 80’s book covers & descriptions – Joan Oppenheimer , Elizabeth Ogilvie , Deborah Kent , Helen Cavanagh , Caroline B Cooney, Diane Hoh and more!
- Helen Cavanagh on 80’s Wildfire teen Romances – Ultimate Page – 80’s book covers & descriptions – Joan Oppenheimer , Elizabeth Ogilvie , Deborah Kent , Helen Cavanagh , Caroline B Cooney, Diane Hoh and more!
- Michelle on New Part 1 A-Z series Guide – Forgotten 80’s and 90’s young adult series
- marnalarsen on The Babysitter’s Club Mary Anne’s Make-over – What’s all the fuss? It could’ve been much worse – 80’s bad hair samples
- propagatrix on A GUIDE TO 80’S TEEN BOOK SERIES PART 4 S-Z
Mmmm Monster loves the box best!
Seach this site for a series or book!