Book Lists

Young Adult Books Set in the 1980s [Top Ten Tuesday]

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “books set before I was born” so if like me, you’re a 90s baby and like me, read only YA which only just started to gain ground in the 90s, you’ll see why I flipped this to books set in the 80s!

Tell The Wolves I’m Home
Themes: Loss, Coming Of Age, AIDs

Annie On My Mind
Themes: Lesbian, First Love, Prejudice

Last Dance At The Frosty Queen
Themes: Small Town, First Love, Male POV

We Are Still Tornadoes
Themes: Post Graduation, Long Distance Friendship, Letter Format
(the whole book is a series of letters)

Bitter Melon
Themes: Chinese-American MC, Parental Expectations, Coming Of Age

Themes: Eating Disorder, Treatment Facility, Own Voices

Butterfly Yellow
Themes: Vietnam War, Refugee In America, Missing Brother

Rainbow Jordan
Themes: Coming Of Age, Missing Mother, Relationships

We Are Lost And Found
Themes: New York, M/M Romance, AIDs Epidemic

A Swift Pure Cry
Themes: Ireland, Religion, Scandal

Did any of these books find their way on to your shelves? Or have you read any? Let me know in the comments!


10 thoughts on “Young Adult Books Set in the 1980s [Top Ten Tuesday]

  1. Ooh, this is an awesome take, with even better book selections. I would have mentioned We Are Still Tornadoes if you hadn’t; Annie On My Mind is a solid classic; and while I don’t know Rainbow Jordan I do remember A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But A Sandwich (unforgettable title!) featured on my library’s shelves growing up, though I never got around to it before it was weeded.

    Be-lieve-a-rexic and Bitter Melon have both been on my TBR fora while now, and I’m adding Last Dance at the Frosty Queen and A Swift Pure Cry to it right now — most of these authors are new to me but I’ve read a lot of Siobhan Dowd, yet missed that one.

    One other recent-but-set-in-the-80s book I recommend is Taking Off by Jenny Moss (…that book is 10 years old already??).

    AND just for funsies, a slew of then-contemporary teen novel recs actually from the 80s:

    Flight of the Albatross – Deborah Savage
    Perdita – Isabelle Holland
    To Take A Dare – Crescent Dragonwagon
    The Country of Broken Stone – Nancy Bond
    Final Grades – Anita Heyman
    The Truth Trap – Frances A. Miller
    No More Saturday Nights – Norma Klein
    Home Sweet Home – Jeanne Betancourt

    –RS (your friendly local old-teen-book-loving WIZARD)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh, I love your take on the topic–I haven’t seen anyone do anything similar! I haven’t heard of many of these but We Are Lost and Found is also on my TBR and now I’m curious about Butterfly Yellow! Great list 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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