Q

Do teen paperbacks of the '80s and '90s deserve a second look? Gabrielle Moss makes the case

Gabrielle Moss is the author of the book, Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of '80s and '90s Teen Fiction.
Gabrielle Moss is the author of the book Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of '80s and '90s Teen Fiction. (Bryan Bruchman, Penguin Random House Canada)
Listen15:20

If you came of age in the '80s and '90s, you might remember walking into your school library and seeing the shelves crammed with soft, pastel-coloured paperbacks. It was the golden era of teen fiction and series like Sweet Valley High and The Baby-Sitters Club were huge.

Today, you can find these books in moms' basements everywhere, or, if you're like Gabrielle Moss, you can go online and buy an entire crate of them. While these teen-centric books may not be critically-acclaimed, Moss believes they taught her some important life lessons.

She's the author of Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of '80s and '90s Teen Fiction and she joined q guest host Nana aba Duncan to tell us why this retro teen fiction deserves a second look.

Below, you can see some classic '80s and '90s teen paperback covers, complete with dramatic titles and photorealistic illustrations of pre-teens.

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      Moss' book Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of '80s and '90s Teen Fiction is out now.

      Download our podcast or click 'Listen' near the top of this page to hear the full conversation with Gabrielle Moss.

      — Produced by ​Vanessa Greco

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