Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Teen Mega Series

Time Travel Tuesday.

I saw a linky somewhere last week - sorry, I've totally forgotten where, with my brain being slippery and all- about the Babysitter's Club. I was hooked on those books. I read all of them. All 131 in the regular series. I even read a stack of the Super Specials and the Babysitters Mysteries.

It got me to thinking though. When I was growing up in the 80's and 90's, YA was all about contemporary mega-series. I kinda wonder what changed. These days, the longest YA series I can think of is Harry Potter. And that's definitely not contemporary.

The BabySitters Club by Ann M. Martin was one of the biggest series of the bi-decade. (Like my new word?) It spanned 13 years and 131 books (in the main series), produced several other book series, a tv series, a few movies, and a whole stack of merchandise. And yes, my friends and I were those geeks that knew every word of the theme song.

The 1995 movie. I can't believe how hooked I was on this. lol.

Looking back, Kristy, Mary Anne, Stacey, Claudia, Jessi, Mallory and Dawn were crazy one dimensional. And the cast was as politically correct as you could get featuring an Asian, a Black, someone with learning difficulties, a girl with diabetes, a redhead, a West Coaster (6 of them were from the East Coast). It was like they couldn't leave out anything or anybody. It was the Facts of Life in book form.

Here's a clip from the series. Corn-festa!

This series "only" produced 28 books over 11 years, but I LOVED it. It was a Christian series, but not one of the "drive Christianity down your throat types." It dealt with tough topics like suicide and abortion, but I guess that was okay because it took a moral stance.

I loved these. What 13 year old girl wouldn't love to have a horse? Apparently not many. There was a whole stack of series about horses in the 80s/90s. That and ballet. There were ballet series everywhere.

The Sweet Dreams series was a Teen romance (PG13 of course). It wasn't about a cast of characters, nor was it all written by one author. They just had a common theme- romance with high school aged stars. I actually remember the book in this pic. Connie (Consuela) tries to help her best friend (a guy whose name I forget) with his stand up routine for a school contest. The book left some kind of impression. I read it 15 years ago and I still remember!

Last, but definitely not least, the megaloth itself: Sweet Valley High. Started in 1983, it actually is the first of the Sweet Valley series predating the Sweet Valley Twins series by 3 years. This series had several spinoffs: Sweet Valley Kids (in elementary school), Sweet Valley Twins (6th grade), The Unicorn Club (7th grade), Sweet Valley Junior High (8th grade), Sweet Valley Senior Year and of course, the original SVU, Sweet Valley University. Several of the series had Super Specials and Mystery editions. Too many books to count.

Sweet Valley was about identical twins Elizabeth (the good twin with the ponytail) and Jessica (popular and mean who wore her hair loose). I honestly didn't read many of these, but they had the same feel as Beverley Hills 90210.

This may be the most 90's thing I've ever seen. lol

Oh, and btw, apparently they rereleased the series in 2008, and there's a movie comign in 2012! Wonder if the audience will be more teens or 30 year olds...

Do you remember these? What were your favourite series back in the day? And why do you think YA has moved away from the mega-series?

No comments: