Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Eleanor & Park Week: Top 5 Books Set in the 1980s

 If you are reading this and are in middle or high school, you were not born in the 1980s. In fact, you may not have been born in the 1990s. So, when you come in looking for historical fiction, why are the most recent things we send you home with from the Vietnam War?

image used under CC license from Flickr user: Todd Ehlers

Eleanor & Park is set in 1986 which makes it solidly historical fiction. No internet, your phone probably had a cord (which meant that unless you had a phone in your room, there was not much chance of privacy on that call) and no Itunes. As hard as it is for the adults in your life to admit, we are nearly 30 years out from E&P's lives and times have changed (though you'll have to tune in on Friday to see how Rainbow Rowell thinks  Eleanor and Park's story would be different if they were teenagers today instead of 27 years ago).

Eleanor & Park is not our only novel set in the 1980s! Get ready to make your parents feel old with our look at four more books set in this decade:

Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard
Alex's friend is dead. The school says it's because of an unfortunate swimming accident. Alex knows that's most of the story, but what exactly went down that day at the cliffs? Even though he was there, does he know the whole story? What about Alex's friend Glenn's version of the events of that afternoon? The truth is murky and when Glenn thinks that one of their teachers might have yet another view on what happened he wants to put a stop to her quickly. Will Alex go along with Glenn's plan even though it doesn't feel right to him at all? This is a thriller that will have your stomach twisting as you turn the pages faster and faster. (see more on this book here)

Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castelucci
Rose has seen her neighbor Yrena for a long time, but despite the fact that they are the same age, she's never been able to talk with her. They don't go to the same school and Yrena, is the daughter of a Russian family in 1982 when hostility between the two countries is intense. But, now Yrena is leaving and she wants nothing more than one All-American night out.

Can Rose show her what she and her performing art school theater/music geek friends do for fun without it becoming an international incident? (see more on this book here)
Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
"Weetzie Bat is a seriously cool teenager growing up in the 1980s with her best friend Dirk. They travel around in an old convertible with Weetzie's dog, Slinkster Dog. They hit up punk clubs and eat hot dogs with guacamole. There's also Dirk's grandmother, Fifi, who lives in a house so small and pretty it could be made of gingerbread and has an amazing collection of dresses bursting out of all of her closets. Everything about their world is a little more exciting than the regular one. And when Weetzie finds herself with three wishes, this story story really gets going." (from the full review that you can find here)

The Good Braider by Terry Farish
"The simple free verse form takes you straight into the heart of a Sudanese immigrant.  The story weaves the cultural intricacies between Viola’s life in Sudan and her new one in Portland, Maine.  Things that the average American takes for granted, Viola constantly questions: is it safe to wear a short skirt?  What about spending time alone with a boy?  Is it fair that she escaped while so many are still in Sudan?  Terry Farish gives an eye-opening glimpse into the complexities of starting a new life in a world miles from home." (from this top ten)


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