I’ve jogged your memories – let them flow , drop everyone a line about your favorite
story , scene , or even your least favorite book!



  1. I have been looking and looking for a few books. One was something called Sandcastle Summer (something like that) where people came to this small town from all over to build the world’s biggest sandcastle. This is about the time Megan The Klutz came out. Could be Summer Sandcastle but I cannot find a synopsis for that.

    Another was along the lines of Winter Dreams, Christmas Love (one of my faves, that book is so good!) and it was about this girl Anna (?) who came from St. Olaf to live with her aunt. She was poor and the cousin came to be very jealous. They ran a boarding house I believe.

    Another was something Popularity. It has a bright yellow cover with girls in 80s denim jackets, etc. It was not a Sweet Dreams book.

    I love this site, however my wallet does not!

    • Hi , I know one of your books for sure – it’s a great book with a terrific 80’s cover – here’s a LINK so you can check it out. It’s called The Popularity Plan by Cindy Savage. And because you’ve mentioned two Willowisp Press books I’m thinking the sandcastle book may be – A Summer to Remember by Bonnie Towne – I have the book and will check it out – ( I’m writing this at a coffee shop right now ) The other one about the boarding house doesn’t ring any immediate bells but I’ll look around. Thanks! ( P.S. I know what you mean about the wallet thing – Starting this list myself has made me greedy to grab up all the gems I missed – Right now I would love to get my hands on Saturday the twelfth of October – one of the few Norma Fox Mazer books I missed! )

  2. I just found on your site two books I have been searching for for YEARS. I read them both around 1988-89, when I was in 6th and 7th grade. Then we moved 800 miles away, and I had to get rid of most of my books. The two are Just Friends by Norma Klein, and Sweet Sixteen and Never… by Jeanne Betancourt. I started trying to remember these in high school in the mid nineties. I am happier right now than a five year old with a brand new box of crayons. Thank you so, so much!!!

  3. Would love to find a book I had years ago. I don’t remember the author or title, but it was about an overweight teen girl (main character) whose mother was an actress. Her best friends was also overweight and her mother was an opera singer. Then the main lost weight over the summer and became popular. This is not fat Glenda or Life In The Fat Lane. This was a one off I believe and not part of a series.

  4. Hi! This is an awesome site!! I’ve been trying to find the name of a book that I read sometime in the mid 80’s and so far I’ve had no luck, maybe you can help. The story is about a girl who is going through changes in her life, and maybe is depressed, but I can’t recall exactly. The one thing I can clearly remember from the book is that she and a friend ditch gym class and she gets caught. Does this sound remotely familiar?

    • Hmmm – this is a tough one – I’m thinking it could be The Trouble with Soap by Margery Cuyler – but I think I’m getting the ditching gym class mixed up with Soap’s shoplifting event. Do you have any more info? were the characters teenagers or younger?

  5. Hi, I came across your site trying to find a YA novel I read in 1986. I don’t remember the title or author. The main character was about 12 or 13 and her name was Florence. She and her father moved (after a divorce?) to stay with relatives, and she was unhappy. She was kind of an outsider, I remember she didn’t like her popular cousin because she smiled too much. I think she ended up being friends with her cousin after learning she had problems too, or something like that. I’m guessing it was written between 1980-1986. I’ve searched every keyword I can think of. Thanks if anyone can help!

    • Hi , I’ll keep my eyes open – it unfortunately bares a likeness to a book I read called Why doesn’t she go home by Bonnie Towne – which is about a pretty cousin who comes to stay with her relatives ( ala Disney’s Summer Magic ) and creates jealousy with her younger cousin whose a competitive swimmer. The cousin learns she’s there because her parents are getting a divorce but it still takes a while before the younger one offers any sympathy.

  6. hi i am looking for a book i read i think it was in the early 90s. it was about a girl who moved to a new town. her mom was the guidance counselor at her new school and her dad was a vietnam vet with the letters btd tattooed on his arm. there was popular boy named craig i think..i barely remember, but it is driving me crazy trying to remember the name of this book. there was another boy also but cant think of his name. i remember the boy craig had a drinking problem.

    • Donna– I remember that book. The mom ends up getting beat up in In-School-Suspension, right? I think the mother’s name was Miss Larrimore and she used her maiden name because her daughter didn’t want people to know that they were related. And there was a popular girl named Ashley. I wish I could remember the title now.

    • Donna– I found it! I remembered that there was a kid named Phillip Ogden Davies, and I googled that. It’s called Princess Ashley by Richard Peck.

  7. hi i am looking for a book i read i think it was in the early 90s. it was about a girl who moved to a new town. her mom was the guidance counselor at her new school and her dad was a vietnam vet with the letters btd tattooed on his arm. there was popular boy named craig i think..i barely remember, but it is driving me crazy trying to remember the name of this book. there was another boy also but cant think of his name. i remember the boy craig had a drinking problem. there was also an abandoned house behind her house

  8. i wish i could remember any of that…its crazy i can just about remember the whole plot but not who wrote it or anything.

    • I’ll keep an eye out – Usually I can bump into these things just from scouting around for the a-z guide. The plot isn’t bringing any authors to mind though , or even a possible publisher – Avon flare possibly they dealt with edgier stuff than Scholastic , or even Signet.

  9. i found it. it was princess ashley by richard peck. i was wrong about the main character’s name. it was chelsea.

  10. I remember reading a book that was supposed to be the first book in a series – I would have read it in the early to mid 90’s but I’m sure it had to come out in the mid 80’s – it starts out where all across the country all these high schoolers took an exam; it was supposed to be SAT-like but the trick was that the government was looking for high scoring kids so that they could become spies. I remember one of the characters was a rich guy (I vaguely remember the description of him driving his car); I think a female character *might* have been Asian (and a make up artist); and the first book dealt with someone who I think was Russian gymnast trying to defect (hence why I think it was written in the mid-80s). Any thoughts?

  11. Oh my – I have searched for this book forever – and anyway it wasn’t until I had typed this that I had even remembered the part about the Russian Gymnast – and that’s what led me to find ….


    • I’m glad you found it! – for anyone who doesn’t use the link it’s called The Protectors – and it’s one to add to the Cliquey Pizza 2 site! I was thinking at first glance that it might’ve been Psi Patrol.

  12. And it turns out its a R.L. Stine book – he wrote it under a pen name! πŸ™‚

    • Cool! I love discovering the real authors behind some of these tricky pseudonyms. I’m beginning to discover my author list of First Love from Silhouette – counting up books by authors, isn’t so accurate as several authors often took on numerous new names.

  13. I’m a tad bit embarrassed in that until last night I always thought R.L. Stine was a woman. I know its not uncommon for women to initial their names so that their books will appeal to men/boys as well, so I think I always assumed; but then I wasn’t a huge R.L. Stine fan to begin with either; so I never really cared to learn.

    • Wow! But then again I could see that – Richie Tankersley Cusick after all is a woman – and that sounds totally like a guys name .. V.C. Andrews – even guys get on the band wagon – Jennifer Wilde is actually Tom Huff. I knew R.L. back when he was writing joke bokes under Jovial Bob Stine and every boy in my class had one of those. I didn’t read Goosebumps or Fear Street but I loved his Point Horrors , they were goofy fun.

  14. Hi… Can I enlist your help, Cliquey Pizza? (Or anyone else reading, haha!)

    Three books that I would LOVE to know the titles/authors of are as follows:

    The first is a book about a girl who was in middle school (maybe) and had a best friend who was going to have a Signpost Party to memorialize her emergence into young womanhood. (Unlike her mother, she was not yet able to fit into a bra–so she was having a party!) So this girl’s best friend was invited to the party. At around the same time, her older cousin comes to stay with her–cool and popular–and starts changing her life to get her ready for the Signpost Party. Like, she wants her to cut her hair (but the main character complains that it’s taken her this long to grow her hair out enough to wear a ponytail), and the older cousin throws her leather jacket over her chair in her room so she’ll look ‘cooler’. See, I can remember everything but the title and the author! Augh!

    The second book is for a slightly older audience, I think. There’s this guy who calls himself Crow because his initials are C.R.O. He lives alone in an abandoned apartment building by the ocean or something, until one night he sees a man drowning. Except when he rescues this man, in the dark he sees two ‘bumps’ filling out the lettering of the person’s wet shirt, and Crow realizes he rescued this girl. They end up living together as friends for a while… I don’t remember much beyond that, but I enjoyed the book when I read it back in the mid-nineties.

    The third book I want to ‘throw out’ here and ask after has something to do with a girl who has Native American heritage, I think. She’s a runner and has a friend who runs, but her friend says she’s a better runner because they always run the easier course that the friend is more suited to. So this girl is preparing for this big marathon through the woods (I think it had something to do with her heritage and a passage to womanhood) and during the run this creepy older guy who was always hanging around her grandmother’s house/aunt’s house/older female mentor’s house tries to molest her, but she was able to struggle free from him and finish the race. Sound familiar to anyone?

    I read through all of the general, alphabetical Cliquey Pizza listings and looked at the covers and skimmed through the titles but nothing clicked for these book memories of mine–although plenty of other memories were rekindled with so many others. Thanks for everything, Cliquey Pizza (peacharino?), you have a great “vehicle” here for traveling fondly down Memory Lane! πŸ™‚

    • The first one is called – Fifth Grade – here comes trouble by Colleen o’Shaughnessy McKenna and is part of the Collette series here’s my link to Cliquey Pizza the a-z guide which will show you the cover – the description needs to be updated a bit as I have read Camp Murphy which is part of the Colleen stories when she is in sixth grade. The second book I’m getting mixed up with – Even Pretty Girls Cry at Night by Joan Merrill Gerber ( which featured a girl named Crow.) But I’ll keep looking for the second book – do you know if it was 70’s 80’s or 90’s?

      • Thank you so much! Yes, “Fifth Grade: Here Comes Trouble” is it, I remember the cover now (I just looked it up on Amazon). Wow! I wonder how old I was when I read that? πŸ˜‰

        And as regards the second book, I really want to say that it was the guy who called himself Crow, and not the girl. I think it was one of those paperbacks that the teacher would put on the carousel in the back of the class… I don’t think I found it at the library. It was probably an 80’s book (publication), I remember a scene toward the end where they had to share a sleeping bag because of the cold and the guy Crow had the sudden and unexpected thought that the girl he rescued had really long, nice legs. So, it was like maybe a turning point in their relationship. (And now that I’m thinking about it again, I think maybe she was a runaway, or had been trying to commit suicide in the ocean.) I’ve typed in “Crow boy rescues drowning girl teen book” and stuff like that online but I get the weirdest results that way! But it would be awesome to know the title and read it again if you or anyone else can help identify it, it was one of those stories that just kind of adds to the whole nostalgia of growing up for me. πŸ™‚

      • I’ll keep looking it – sounds like it comes from the p.o.v of the boy which could narrow the search.

      • Hey I found it! It’s called If I asked you Would you Stay – Eve Bunting. Here’s a Link to Amazon so you can check out the description. Also check out link to cover on Goodreads I typed in Crow saves girl on Google books which brought up several book anthologies that mention the book. I should add this to my search tips!

      • Ha! I totally didn’t mean to blow over your link in your reply, peacharino–checking it out now. Boy, do you know your stuff in this realm of ‘basically forgotten YA gems’, so awesome! πŸ™‚

      • No , prob, I’ve had people ask questions with the results on the same page! I’ve done it myself on other sites.

  15. Oh, and to the Donna who posted here recently: I just finished re-reading “Princess Ashley” last week after soooo many years having gone by (I bought a used copy recently through Amazon)… how funny you should mention it here! That is an awesome book though, I remember getting it out from the library as a teenager but honestly had completely forgotten the ending. :p

  16. Peacharino, you FOUND it!!! (Wow, I must be using the wrong search engines or something!) Thank you SO MUCH! πŸ™‚ I just ordered it off of Amazon… haha, my hubby will be like, “All these used books are coming in the mail for you!” And thank you for the links, too, I will have to use them in the future when I’m hunting down other titles, like the one about the girl who runs. But I cannot even tell you how your site has triggered so many memories for me, it’s crazy! (I’ve been totally hyper since I found your site–which is rather unusual for me, hehe.) Thanks again for all of your help with everything!! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! I’m glad to help, although I have to admit I was blessed to run across it! I remember when I was about 18 , I special ordered a childhood fave that I hadn’t read in years – Tucker’s Countryside. I was so excited when the bookstore called to announce it’s in! I still have that copy. And it’s still one of my favorites.

  17. I was looking for a book from the 80’s with two girls in a cemetery maybe called step on a crack. I think it alsoaybe had a statue in the cemetery on the cover.

  18. Hi peacharino, I’ve been enjoying my nostalgic YA-book time-trips recently, I really appreciate all of your help! But now my husband (!) has a book he’d like me to ask after here: He said it’s from the 80s or 70s, he read it in the 90s, there is a boy and a girl who abandon their society of “underground, post-apocalyptic surviving people” to go above-ground, and they’re pursued by someone. He said he was in middle school when he read it. Sound at all familiar? Thanks!!

    • I’m thinking it could be Julian F Thompson’s A Question of Survival – never read it but it’s got something to do with a bomb shelter and the cover looks like what you’re describing. Check it out HERE or it could be a series entitled the Firebrats – Check it out HERE if none of these ring a bell with your husband let me know , I’ll keep looking!

      • My hubby’s over my shoulder here, when he saw the book he said, “Hm,” and then after a moment, “Great cover.” But that’s not it. He says now that it “begins underground in a city,” and he’ll try to remember more… Looking around myself, I’ve found “Fire Brats” and some other titles, but none of them he says are the one that he’s looking for. Thanks for digging that title up though, peacharino, I might just have to order that for myself just for the cover art! πŸ˜‰

      • I’ll keep looking!

      • Moments after I typed in I’ll keep looking , I decided to type in post apocalyptic 80 ya into Google books – This time of Darkness by H.M Hoover – came up COVER AND DESCRIPTION Could be the one – if not let me know.

  19. I just emailed my hubby at work, and this is what came back:

    “That is it! Wow. Impressive…. With nearly no data!” Then, “I do remember it being good! I’m stoked…Thank you.”

    So I guess I have to order it for him now. πŸ˜‰ Thanks again so much, peacharino, you really have a talent with these things!! And if I ever wanted to submit a story synopsis that might help somebody else find an old, forgotten story they want to read, how would I do that?

    • Glad it turned out to be the right one! Your offer has inspired me to create a new page entitled Recommendations – which if you’d like, you could leave some great 80’s books you remember and would like to recommend , odd forgotten ones would be great. Lists would be fabulous too. Or even comparisons like – if you like say Judy Blume you’ll love this book. Or if you’d like to fill in the description of one of the books just email me at with a concise description! Thanks!

  20. Hi, I am having the hardest time finding the title of this YA one book that was released in 80’s or 90’s about a young adult boy who lives in an abandoned buidling where there is a Carasouel. He then one night saves a girl who almost drowns in the ocean, he doesn’t like her at first. He also works at this shop at the beach. Any help would be great and much appreciated! Thank you so much, Lisa

  21. Home for x-mas and my mom gave me a box of 50 late 70s-mid 80s YA fiction she had been storing for me (I had no idea she still had them). Lots of nostalgia and I’m wondering if there is $value to the books. Anne Snyder’s “Counter Play” is listed for $30-$50 online, but I don’t know how interested I am in trying to sell all of them when most will probably go for <$1 on line or $.05 at the used book store if they even take them. I've got young love/sex/pregnancy story lines as well as eating disorders, alcoholism, gay, disabled, cancer, child abuse, child abduction, and divorce. Some of the authors are Anne Snyder, Norma Fox Mazer, Norma Klein, Joan Oppenheimer, Richard Peck, Paul Zindel, & Lois Duncan.

  22. Hey Guys!
    I’m looking for a Wildfire romance novel that I believe was written in the 80’s. It has a green cover with a guy and a girl on it. The story line is about a girl who comes from a divorced family who goes to visit her father and stepmother for the summer (I think the city she ended up visiting was called Victoria). She becomes a waitress and meets a guy. Then she has a perfect sister who comes to visit her who I think was a ballerina. If anyone can recall the name of this book, I would really appreciate it!

  23. Kathleen Nielsen

    Thanks for all of the hard work!

    I am trying to recall a book I read from the 1980s. It was from the point of view of a teenage girl who had gotten to star in her first movie, but she’s pretty down to earth about it; even naive and clueless. She lives in New York City and does interviews and press for the movie in California. At one point, the stylists do her hair in little braids like Bo Derek’s and the journalists ask if that’s her way of saying she’s a “perfect 10.” Her mother is younger than her father, hip, “free” and wild, whereas her father is more conservative and kind of bewildered. At the end of the book, the mother leaves the father rather amicably for a family friend throughout the book named Simon (there’s a line about the mother rationalizing it with, “I just fell totally in love with Simon!”). The teenage movie star has a boyfriend and they are experimenting with sex. I remember the father is distressed about this because he feels the girl is too young. The boy who plays her boyfriend in the movie is older and (from what I can recall) possibly gay. He ends up being a sort of mentor to her; I think there is a scene where they get drunk in a hotel room but nothing romantic happens between them. I want to say the book (and the movie the girl stars in IN the book) is something like Consenting Adults or Emancipated Minors — the girl explains the title’s meaning in the story — but I haven’t found any leads with these. I want to say this was written in sort of the vein of Forever, edgy for its time and pushing the bounds of teenage romance.

    Thanks for any help!

  24. I’m trying to remember a novel that I read in the mid-80s about a young girl who has a crush on a new boy in town. It seems as though things are going well and then on one of their dates, he turns pale and then she doesn’t hear from him for a number of weeks (seems like an eternity in teen time). Turns out he had appendicitis. That’s all I can remember in terms of actual plot but I recall feeling like the author had really captured teen angst and young romance. Any chance you might know what this one is? It’s been nagging at me for years!!

  25. Please help me find this book. In starting to think I’m the only one who read it! It’s about a girl named Tracy who moves to an island to live with her father and stepmother. There is a guy named Mark who lives there and they become friends. A guy named Estrada comes to the island to steal something and they have to stop him. Her father had a table that had different gemstones on the top that formed a map of the island. There was also an old lady who lived on the island, and Estrada tried to poison her. I remember the cover had a girl in a pink tank top and jeans and she was running in the dark. The title was something like The Shadow of the Cat, or the Silver Cat. I’m sorry this doesn’t help much!

  26. I’m looking for a ya book where the girl is on the run, her father is in the FBI or a spy and may be called something similar to Into The Night, any help gratefully accepted

  27. Hi there, Can anyone help me with a book from the 90’s, it driving me nuts!!! It was a teen series, a girl called Stephanie and her mother’s name was Eve, I think. Her dad’s name was Don and it was set in Tampa Bay Florida….I know this is loose info but ANYONE?!

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