Three Decades of Short Fiction from SEVENTEEN Magazine

Like its older sisters in the field of mass-market women’s magazines (everything from Cosmopolitan to Woman’s Day) Seventeen featured a great deal of short fiction in its pages from its debut in 1944.

Some of these were reprinted in anthologies, and they also served as a springboard for a number of young authors- Sylvia Plath may be the most often-cited, but pick up any YA paperback of a certain era and you’ll likely see a Seventeen credit in the author’s bio.

The last time I bought an issue was five years ago, so I could illustrate how the publication has shrunk over the past 40 years; I just checked, and it does not contain a short story, and I think fiction was on the way out even when I was reading as a YA myself in the early 90s.

This week we’ll take a look at three stories from three issues from three decades from my library of back issues: Continue reading

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My Sweet Audrina By V.C. Andrews

Now she will come face to face with the dangerous, terrifying secret everyone knows. Everyone except My Sweet Audrina.

What the hell did I just read?

OK, I’ll back it up here a second. Since this blog’s beginnings, there are three books that most frequently come in as readers’ requests. One is M.E. Kerr’s Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!, which I will probably get to at some point, even though I feel like it’s just on the cusp of being too familiar to qualify as a “Lost Classic”. The second is Go Ask Alice, which I definitely feel like is too well-remembered and widely-read; as a comprise I did review Anonymous/Beatrice Sparks’s Jay’s Journal, which in my humble opinion is much wilder and weirder than Alice and remains one of my favorite “discoveries” for this project.

The third book is Flowers in the Attic, which (aside from being well known and widely-read) is a real literary mess. I read it for the first time as an adult and was shocked that any 13-year-old got through enough of it to even giggle about the dirty parts. At time I remember thinking that it was like playing pretend with your friends, where you have this nice gothic fantasy going about having to escape from your evil grandmother’s attic and you have this one inappropriate friend who keeps bringing weird sex stuff into it. It’s like you’re obsessed with my brother or something, Carly!

So initially I thought I’d appease the V.C. Andrews (®) requestors with her second-most infamous book…

The Plot: And what the hell did I just read? Continue reading

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Brief Update

1. Thanks to everyone who checked out the Spring Cleaning Charity Auction!  The books have been shipped off to their new home and the contribution sent to the Dollywood Foundation in support of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library!

2. Be sure to check the Name That Book! page to see if you can help readers unravel the Mystery of the Vaguely-Remembered Plot! I’ve added a number of new requests in the past week.

3. Regularly scheduled content will return at the end of this week!

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Crash Club By Henry Gregor Felsen

His answer to Outlaw’s bid for power was a new kind of hot rod club- he called it CRASH CLUB!

Background: Henry Felsen began his career writing military adventure stories for juvenile readers during World War II, but earned his cult following for a series of hot rod-themed cautionary tales in the 1950s. Titles like Hot Rod, Street Rod, Ragtop and Road Rocket are the literary equivalent of the Highway Safety Foundation’s driver’s ed films of the era: grim and gory moralizing with the intention to scare teen drivers straight.

The Plot:  The book opens a few weeks into the fall semester at Raccoon Forks (Anystate, USA) High School, with Principal Enos Lamont observing the incoming students and ruminating at length on the comings and goings of various teenage fads that he has observed over his 25 years of teaching. Continue reading

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Spring Cleaning Charity Auction #2

In May this blog celebrated its 6th anniversary of providing quality criticism of quality literature (insert scare-quotes where applicable -ED.), and, having run out of Victoria Martin books to commemorate the occasion, I am again putting the “do” in “do-gooder”! As in “do remove these books from my house”.

Yes, folks, this is your chance to bid on a chunk of Lost Classics history! For the next 7 days, this lot of 28 Lost Classics of Teen Lit (and a few Imaginary Summer Book Club selections) are up for bid on Ebay. And better yet, it is for a good cause: 100% of the final sale price will again be donated directly to the Dollywood Foundation and support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a non-profit foundation that provides books to preschoolers!

Support two good causes at once! Promote childhood literacy,  and prevent yours truly from being crushed to death under a wobbly tower of paperbacks!

This auction ends next Sunday night, June 10, 2018 Be sure to read the full description and view all photos for information on condition before you bid!

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Announcing the 2018 Edition of Molly’s Imaginary Summer Book Club

Full name: Molly’s Imaginary Summer Book Club Featuring Classics of Women’s Literature Defined As Books Authored By, About or Widely Read By Women in the 20th Century, let’s see if I can finish before Thanksgiving this year!

I had some last minute changes to the line-up, but this year’s titles are…

Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York By Gail Parent, plus film.

The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten 1960 – 1980 By Peter Bogdanovich, plus not one, but two films.

Red-Headed Woman By Katharine Brush, plus film.

The G-String Murders By Gypsy Rose Lee, plus film.

The Imaginary Summer Book Club FAQ can be found here. 

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BIRTHDAY! BIRTHDAY! BIRTHDAY!

This month marks the 6th birthday of this blog! As thanks to all of my loyal readers, please enjoy this stock photo of a cupcake:

Coming later this week: the return of the Spring Cleaning Charity Auction and announcement of the 2018 Imaginary Summer Book Club!

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