Odd , odd batch of stories for teens that make the world of pageants seem tens times more vapid than I thought. Cool covers (which could be Australian only ) featured models in totally hip threads and a shifting backdrop that could be speckled or zebra striped! Don’t let the Christian theme spook you the stories bounce along with a fresh, felicitous tone making family the center of the stories but is also in tune enough with young readers not to forget timely subjects such as bullies , boyfriends , first love , even mysteries. The series was written by Jane Foster Thornton who, unlike some other series authors seems to have written little else for preteens or teens ( though I have been anticipating this read more than any other series that has escaped my clutches – Roots of Love , Dawn of Love , and Changes.) This cover is Bantam’s publishing concept however on sellers offer the series published by Warner. The stories carry Elizabeth from her arrival on the Johnson family farm when she is called Libby till she begins to blossom into an young woman who is then called Elizabeth, changing the plots to accommodate her age and interests. Elizabeth Gail and the Trouble at Sandhill Ranch 1980 6. It wasn’t bad it just wasn’t good enough to last in a market flooded with series that dealt with battling cliques , there were just too many to chose from – Sleeepover Friends , The Fabulous Five , Bad News Ballet , Best Friends , etc. The Holly Hudnut Admiration Society – Lisa Norby – 1989 2. Too bad , this series idea was actually interesting- instead of featuring sixteen year-olds, the girls, would generally be freshman just entering high school and getting ready for the First Kiss of the series title. Also exotic adventures – a girl living in an underwater vessel like a mermaid , a teen with telepathy , a girl whose compulsion to take a walk discovers it could all be just kismet for a certain boy , while another girl , after designing her own computer game, decides to buy her own house! The stories bounce along with a good deal of energy often ending in the Stars truimphing over some competition with the Clovers – unfortunately there were too many other series out there like this which is probably why it went belly-up after six books. It seemed with the Babysitters club and Sweet Valley High swaggering along the shelves like pants-hitching bigwigs thematic romances had gone the way of yesterdays news. They were without a doubt the most original offering up exotic locations – the amazon with parrot smuggling , soup kitchens for the homeless mixed up in a diamond heist, even daredevils in the Ozarks. Shadows on the Mountain – Miriam Morton – 1986 208. The Journal of Emily Rose – Jeffie Ross Gordon – 1986 217. Even as First Love was being turned into Keepsake , a few books were reprinted and two new Blossom Valley books were put out. The stories were such a hit they were released with ( instead of the First Love From Silhouette arch ) a Blossom Valley Book arch.
– Bullesye a division of Knopf released this short lived series in 1989 after Sleepover Friends had been going for almost two years.
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.
The books start out with sweet-natured and gullible Linda Ellis being talked into entering the Miss Crandalls beauty pageant, hosted by the posh Crandalls store. A reader asked about it and said that the main character Lexi Turner moves to New York to live with an aunt – Possibly due to becoming an orphan or to escape her parents messy divorce. , and trimmed down sentences, sometimes just a one word neatly placed – Smooth. All of the boarders however are seemingly young and hip- Angelo De Furie a.k.a Fury a wicked surfer , pretty but secretive Pamela Easton , talkative Jed , and aspiring country Western singer Tracy. The series revolves around the head butting between two rival cliques in Wakeman – ahem Wacko Junior High – The Fabulous five – Jana Morgan – their sweet likable leader whose been going steady with sensitive hunk Randy Kirwin since sixth grade, Beth Barry – the theatrical show-off , Christie Winchell – the tennis loving brainiac , Melanie Edwards – the dreamy , boycrazy sweetheart and Katie Shannon – the ridged , opinionated feminist.
Instantly hooked on beauty pageants despite the back biting , the spaced out drugged, out contestants , Linda Ellis seems to ignore these horrors but none so especially as Arlene Mc Vie who will do anything to win that includes whipping up a special facial complete with strawberries even though Linda’s deathly allergic to them , spreading a rumor that Linda and her attentive teacher are having an affair and rubbing Ben-Gay into her eyes for quick sudden tears to ensure instant forgiveness for her awful behavior of which , sweet, gullible, naive , stupid Linda is only to quick do. Anyhow , there in New York she develops a hot new look and starts a band called Electric High. Elizabeth Gail and the Missing Love Letters 1982 14. The characters revolved around a set of friends – likable popular Jenny Sawyer , brusk , bossy and abrasive Diane , tag-a-long Sharon who always puts her foot in her mouth , Jack the trouble making red head and the star Elsie Edwards who starts in the first book as a fat lonely girl , who steals the other kids lunch money when she is forced on a diet by her unsympathetic mother. Most of the action takes place on the beach with Leslie , proud to be the only girl lifeguard. The Fantastic Four ( thank god it’s not the Sensational Seven!