Sunday, 21 February 2016

1990s Nostalgia: Scholastic Apple Paperbacks

Remember those books? The ones that always had a picture of a red apple on the front, a bright cover and a picture of a gaggle of preteen girls on the front, who were nearly always up to no good? I do! There was a time in my life, when I was between the ages of nine and twelve that I would have read anything that had that apple on the cover and rarely, if ever, was I disappointed.

Apple Paperback was an imprint of Scholastic and an important one, as it was designed specifically for preteen kids. The books were (at the time,) contemporary and the situations were ones that I could relate to--friendships, school and family. A number of series were published under the imprint, most notably The Babysitters Club, a series that sold 172 million books worldwide during its thirteen year run. (Source: Wikipedia) There were plenty of other series as well--The Gymnasts, Sleepover Friends, Animal Inn and Dear Diary. Back then, series, especially ones aimed at girls were a big, fat, massive deal and practically every publisher and imprint had one, though many (including some of the Apple paperback ones,) did not last very long. (For example, Cousins by Colleen O'Shaunghnessy McKenna, published in 1993 lasted for just two books, though the design of the cover suggests they were intended to last a lot longer.) The books could be ordered from a catalogue that was distributed to my primary school and I spent many happy days reading these 150 page (or thereabouts,) books with titles like Ten Kids, No Pets and Too Many Murphys. 

Then, one day I grew up.

I don't think that I ever really thought about, or even looked at, another Apple Paperback once I started high school. And that's no surprise--they're not really for high school kids, it's kind of hard to care about a group of fifth grade kids whose teacher won't let them participate in a Christmas parade once you hit the realities of high school and discover that most problems in life don't get resolved as easily or as nicely as they do in an Apple Paperback. 

Anyway, today I was browsing through a secondhand bookstore and I found a number of Apple Paperback titles there. I had a laugh at some of the covers, and plots, before deciding that they would make for some perfect nostalgia posts on this blog. I bought a few, and may hunt down some more (depending on how interesting the books are,) and hope to read and review them all. This of course, will be in addition to my usual review schedule and the reviews will run on selected Sundays, starting next week, and will probably consist of one or two book reviews per month.