Michael Jackson. Jem and the Holograms. Jams.
Michael Jordan. Spice Girls. Lisa Frank.
Two decades. Two different stories.
These were the years that shaped Tavia & Mollee.
Flashback to the years when “Young Adult’ meant teens reading books that are totally not for “young” adults (as ScaryMommy shares…). Eventually authors fought their way onto the market and changed the game for young readers. In the 1980’s, Ann. M. Martin, Walter Dean Myers, Francesca Lia Block & the Sweet Valley High series changed the literature landscape. By writing books that were relevant and interesting to a younger audience, they paved the way for more authors to emerge in the 1990’s. R.L. Stine, Lois Lowry, Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson and of course, J.K. Rowling, changed the game. Because of them, we have hundreds of thousands of books to appeal to teens decades later. (And look at how Sarah & Laurie still put out timely, well-loved stories 20 years later!)
Pull out your favorite neon and/or grunge gear, turn up Blondie, Madonna, Bowie, Prince… and N*SYNC (hah!), catch a few episodes of Saved By the Bell and Growing Pains, or rewatch John Hughes classics… then dive into some YA lit from the 80’s & 90’s! You can travel back in time via a DeLorean … or just choose a book published IN the 80’s / 90’s or a book SET in those years.
Below are some lists to get your ideas rolling like Coolio & his homies :
- Goodreads List for YA books written in the 80’s & 90’s
- EpicReads TimeTravels to the 1980’s
- Hellogiggles shares its favorite 90’s Series
- Goodreads List for recent YA set in the 1980’s
- Goodreads List for YA books set and/or written in the 1990’s
- Huge List by BookRiot of Books from the 1990’s – all genres covered but specific YA noted
- YA Staples from the 90’s by Phactual
- ScaryMommy’s Books teens read in the 80’s that were definitely NOT YA