Books have come a looooong way since I was a teen. In fact, “teen” books or books aimed at younger people had no such label as YA or NA. They were at best, organized by age groups in libraries and bookstores. And school libraries? I don’t think most librarians had a clue what was on the shelves. Not unless it fell under the umbrella of banned books or controversial books in literature. Those paperback racks were a treasure trove of what would constitute as mature YA. Books by authors like, Christopher Pike, who included plenty of teenage sex and gore in his books.
Nope, YA is a modern idea that has paved the way for so many wonderful books and authors. Books with writing and storylines so good, adults enjoy them too. Maybe even more than the target demographic.
Ah, “back in my day” they were just books. Some were excellent and stood the test of time, and some are so bad that I want to smack my younger self for reading such crap. What can a say, I was a precocious reader and couldn’t always “borror” better reading material from my mother’s shelves.
Anyway, here is a cut-out from my childhood bookshelves.
The Babysitter’s Club (1986 – 2000)
And its spin-off series
Nancy Drew Mysteries (1930 – 2004)
Of course many classics like these:
And who can forget this classic! I’m pretty sure most of us got a copy from a well-meaning aunt. (This was the exact cover of the one I got)
Sweet Valley High (1983 – 2003)
Man was I excited when this series got new covers! And remember the show?!
R.L Stine (No I never read the Goosebump books. I was too cool for them)
12 & Up
Christopher Pike (The hight of sophistication. Ha!)
God! I’ve tried rereading some of these books by Pike, even the adult titles he wrote, and they are just terrible lol! But I loved them!
Of course, by the time I reached highschool I was reading everything.
I have always had a love for horror. Discovering Stephen King was huge for me. I think the first one I ever read was Pet Sematary. Scared the shit out of me but I LOVED it!
Anyway, writing this has made me feel about a hundred years old but it’s been really fun sharing what I read before YA was even cool!
Tell me about your childhood favourites!