Shadows on the Mountain – Miriam Morton – 1986 208.
The stories are fun , interesting and above all believable, even though Glenda works two hard years to lose weight and still isn’t what you’d call skinny she must battle, double hard, with a mother who is also overweight and at times not the most sympathetic especially when sending Glenda off to pick up a big cheesecake. The characters were lively and the action though typical , fun.
After creating a likable , relatable character with Glenda Waite , overweight but struggling to lose it , Lila got so many letters from fans wanting to hear more about Glenda’s diets and success, she created three more books. Being unencumbered by linking the stories the authors had the freedom to be fresh and find their own tone.
***NEW*** Click on the series title for ULTIMATE PAGES – which will include book covers and book descriptions*** It’s a work in progress so only a few are ready *** Enjoy! Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You – 1985 Endless Summer – Released by Ivy and written by Linda Davidson who would go on to write some interesting teen horrors in the 90’s , Endless Summer featured a plot theme basically lifted from a Family Ties episode. Expanded and altered from first person point of view to omnipresent and written by Betsy Haynes, the series shows the most glowing report of school life outside of a Andy Hardy movie and even manages to one-up Sweet Valley High with their loyalty.
Dream Girls – Put out by Archway in 1986 this series was written by Rosemary Joyce, whom were are told participated in pageants – if so, one wonders, what in the world was she thinking?! Up To No Good – 1987 ELECTRIC HIGH Don’t know much about this series – It has been doing it’s best to elude me! Elizabeth Gail and the Summer for Weddings 1983 18. Elizabeth Gail and the Great Canoe Conspiracy 1991 20. Elizabeth Gail and the Secret of the Gold Charm 1992 Elsie Edwards – Put out by Viking , and Apple , and Point , who offered reissues as new stories were added. Barthe De Clements is one of those writers that in tone, resembles Judy Blume but without half the cruelty or self absorbed characters , her stories throb along with laid back lingo like Awe Right! While their parents are away Leslie’s brother gets into a car accident and to pay for the repairs they take boarders into their beach house. It features a cast of characters that grows like the blob and yet still manages to keep such a balance , your head doesn’t spin by the sheer numbers, probably because each character manages to rise above the usual cliches.
A curio in that it bore more likeness to a thematic series that a character driven series. Loyal readers urged returning characters from Dorothy Francis who had a hit with Vonnie in Special Girl and even series with-in a series – Nicole Hart’s Hart mysteries , Becky Stewart’s ( a.k.a Stuart Buchan’s) Kellogg and Carey mysteries , Elaine Harpers 18 Blossom Valley books which took one character Janine through highschool romance to marriage , pregnancy , and child.
Fat Glenda Turns Fourteen – 1991 Fifteen Series- Peppy shortlived series put out by Signet Vista in the mid-80’s. The stories were the usual blend of romance and light drama and the packaging was nice albeit the fuzzy soft focus close up shots were a tad unusual, all in all bad timing hampered this series more than anything. First Love From Silhouette never just focused on romance but rather on a character’s adaption to a new environment , situation or boy , a situation usually already crackling with adventure and mystery.
The Heartbreak of Haltom High – Dawn Kingsbury – 1985 151.
Blue Skies and Lollipops – Janice Harrell – 1985 166.
The girls battle the Clovers a bunch of snobby rich girls lead by Holly Hudnut who demands all of the Clovers wear side ponytails. It seemed only the strongest had survived – Sweet Dreams which wouldn’t last long into the 90’s and even Sunfire would end the next year in 1989. And though it’s debatable as to wether this series or Sweet Dreams is better I’ll always have a bit of a sweet spot for First Love.