1990s – Books for All Ages

Here you’ll find a list of books that are either set in the 1990s or were written during this time. This list is broken down by age but there are many books that can be enjoyed by some or all of the age groups. This list is just a sample of the thousands of books that we can access through the county-wide system. Some descriptions were taken from the catalog, others from our Literature database; Novelist (click to access from home.)

Click on Titles to be taken to the Catalog


The Devil’s Teardrop: a Novel of the Last Night of the Century By: Deaver, Jeffery – An emotionless assassin programmed to wreak havok on Washington, D.C. at four-hour intervals until midnight on New Year’s Eve, 1999, is pursued by retired FBI agent and top forensic document examiner in the country, Parker Kincaid.

Gods in Alabama By: Jackson, Joshilyn – Ten years after leaving, Arlene Fleet finds she still has not escaped Possett, Alabama, when an old classmate turns up asking questions about a crime Arlene committed in her youth, forcing her into a confrontation with her past.

The Human Stain By: Roth, Philip – A college professor with a sexual indiscretion in his past is hounded from his job by academic enemies who label him a racist.

The Man of My Dreams By: Sittenfeld, Curtis – Hannah Gavener’s fantasies about family, romance, and love collide headlong with the challenges, complexities, and realities of adult life and relationships.

Prague By: Phillips, Arthur – Five American expatriates living in Budapest in the early 1990s seek to establish themselves and make their fortunes in a city still haunted by the tragedies of its Communist past.

Sex and the City By: Bushnell, Candace – Presents a collection of essays selected from the author’s column in the New York Observer, concerning the interpersonal relationships of the “young and beautiful” residents of New York City.

A Small Death in Lisbon By: Wilson, Robert – When Inspector Ze Coelho investigates the murder of a young girl living in Portugal, he discovers that the crime is somehow linked to Nazi misdeeds six decades earlier.

Time and Again By: Roberts, Nora – After time traveler Caleb Hornblower crash-lands in the twentieth century, he relies on Liberty Stone to help him survive; and Jacob Hornblower heads back into the past to rescue his stranded brother, only to find himself falling for Sunbeam Stone.

Timequake By: Vonnegut, Kurt – After the universe decides to back up ten years and all humans must live through the 1990s again, author Kurt Vonnegut finds himself trying to write a book called Timequake, which he knows he will never finish since he already did not finish it.

What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day By: Cleage, Pearl – HIV-positive Ava Johnson returns to the Michigan town where she grew up, and finds that what she thought might be the end is, in fact, a beginning.


After Tupac and D Foster By: Jacqueline Woodson – D Foster showed up a few months before Tupac got shot that first time and left us the summer before he died. The day D Foster enters Neeka and her best friend’s lives, the world opens up for them. D comes from a world vastly different from their safe Queens neighborhood, and through her, the girls see another side of life that includes loss, foster families and an amount of freedom that makes the girls envious. Although all of them are crazy about Tupac Shakur’s rap music, D is the one who truly understands the place where he’s coming from, and through knowing D, Tupac’s lyrics become more personal for all of them.

The Day Gogo Went to Vote: South Africa, 1994 By: Sisulu, Elinor – Thembi and her beloved great-grandmother, who has not left the house for many years, go together to vote on the momentous day when black South Africans are allowed to vote for the first time.

Girl of Kosovo
By: Meade, Alice
– Although Zana, an eleven-year-old Albanian girl, experiences the turmoil and violence of the 1999 conflict in her native Kosovo, she remembers her father’s admonition to not let her heart become filled with hate.

Miseducation of Cameron Post By: Danforth, Emily M. – In the early 1990s, when gay teenager Cameron Post rebels against her conservative Montana ranch town and her family decides she needs to change her ways, she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center.

Peace, Locomotion By: Woodson, Jacqueline – Through letters to his little sister, who is in a different foster home, Lonnie, also known as “Locomotion,” keeps a record of their lives while they are apart, describing his own foster family, including his foster brother who returns home after losing a leg in the Iraq War.

Perks of Being a Wallflower By: Chbosky, Stephen – This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends.

The Rifle By: Paulsen, Gary – A priceless, handcrafted rifle, fired throughout the American Revolution, is passed down through the years until it fires on a fateful Christmas Eve of 1994.

Smoky Night By: Bunting, Eve and Diaz, David – During a night of rioting in Los Angeles, fires and looting force neighbors–who have always avoided one another–to come together. David Diaz was awarded the Caldecott Medal for his bold acrylic paint and photo-collage illustrations.

Solider Mom By: Mead, Alice – Eleven-year-old Jasmyn gets a different perspective on life when her mother is sent to Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the Persian Gulf War, leaving her and her baby half-brother behind in Maine in the care of her Mother’s boyfriend.

1990s – History and Programs


Time justified its choice of Albert Einstein as “Person of the Century” with a quotation from Einstein himself, “Politics is for the moment. An equation is for eternity.” However, the technological innovations that bore fruit in the 1990s, such as the Internet, the proliferation of personal computers, and genetic engineering, were all the products of long, painstaking work on the part of thousands of scientists and engineers who measured progress in the smallest of increments and who built on ground broken decades earlier. The changes were, nonetheless, momentous. At the beginning of the Gulf War, reporters for the Cable News Network (CNN) reported live from Baghdad. That reporters could cover the action live already seemed to be taken for granted, but never before had virtually instant coverage of developing events become so crucial and even so expected. Also, though the Internet had existed for decades as a way for computers to communicate with each other, the development of the World Wide Web and easy to use operating systems and programs as well as substantially cheaper, faster, and more powerful computers, gave millions of Americans a way to send e-mail, download music, and buy books “on-line.” The purpose and function of computers had changed: no longer were they used just to compute, but to communicate, advertise, and sell things. People could stay in touch more readily—e-mail seemed less intrusive than a phone call, and neither as formal nor as much trouble as writing a letter—-but in so doing, they became increasingly isolated from their real neighbors. Computers became more powerful, not just in what they enabled people to do, but in the ways their use shaped human behavior and made people dependent on them. The Y2K Bug demonstrated the power and the vulnerability of a digital society. The programming glitch that threatened to crash computers world-wide as their internal clocks turned from “99” to “00” caused doomsday scenarios to seem realistic and even sober people bought electric generators and stored away a few weeks of groceries just in case the electrical and commercial infrastructures failed at the stroke of midnight.

Read More Here.

Source: McConnell, Tandy. “Introduction.” American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 10: 1990-1999. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale U.S. History In Context. Web. 30 July 2012.

Join us this week for these “Between the Decades” Programs.

Decades Documentaries Modern Marvels: 90’s Tech, Tuesday, July 31 @ 2PM – It was the dot com decade that opened up the information superhighway. For the first time you could shop search and surf online with the click of a mouse. “Modern Marvels: 90s Tech” will take you way back to the end of the 20th century and the beginning of today’s trendy technologies. From DVDs to TIVO to GPS we’ll see how the gadgets we can’t live without all started in the 90s. At an Amazon distribution center we’ll follow millions of goods as they are packaged and shipped out. And at Google we’ll learn about the science of creating a search engine. We’ll explore how virtual pet toys were born and how the Furby even created a national security scare. In an interview with two-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion George Foreman we’ll show you how to “knock the fat out” with one of the best-selling appliances of the decade. And we’ll take you back to the original first-person shooter gaming experience of Wolfenstein 3D.- So chill as Modern Marvels explores the technologies of the 90s.

Decades Movies: Clueless (1990s) – Friday, August 3 @ 2PM – Alicia Silverstone won everyone over with her portrayal of a Beverly Hills teen, Cher, whose penchant for helping others with their relationships and self-esteem is a cover for her own loneliness. Director Amy Heckerling (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High”) made a smart, funny variation on Jane Austen’s novel “Emma”, sweetly romantic and gently satirical of “90210” social manners. The cast is unbeatable: Dan Hedaya as Cher’s rock-solid dad, Wallace Shawn as a geeky teacher, Paul Rudd as the boy who has always been Cher’s surrogate brother–and the true holder of her most secret wishes. (1995, 97min, PG-13

Music of the 1980s!

Throw on those leg-warmers because it’s time to cut footloose with tunes from the rockin’ 80s!  This week I promise to bring you music that will have you ‘vogueing’ and pining for a Brat Pack movie on T.V. because if there’s one thing Iove, it’s the 1980s!

Thriller / Michael Jackson – ‘The Walking Dead’ has nothing on the iconic Thriller music video, which has inspired flash-mobs across the globe.  This album was a defining moment for the decade, and my personal favorite off the album has to be ‘Wanna be Startin’ Somethin”!

Now that’s what I call the 80s – If you’re looking for a sort of ‘time capsule’ for this decade, this album is one to check out!  It has everything from Billy Joel to Cindy Lauper!  I’m partial to ‘Jessie’s Girl’ myself!  Check out this album and you’ll find yourself soon rocking out in your car on the way home, having the time of your life.

The immaculate collection  / Madonna This is the part where I tell you that this happens to be my favorite album of ALL TIME!  For as long as I can remember, I’ve been listening to Madonna!  I’ve learned that Madonna has the power to get me through the most difficult day! A little splash of ‘Holiday’ just makes everything better, or if I need a big pick-me-up I listen to ‘Express Yourself’!

The best of Blondie / Blondie – Debbie Harry led this rockin band with hits like ‘Tide is High’ but my favorite will always be ‘Rip Her to Shreds’!

Greatest hits / Run-DMC – Easily one of the most influential hip-hop groups to ever exist, Run-DMC delivered huge hits in the 1980s!  In fact, they were the first hip-hop group to earn a gold record!  So crank up ‘King of Rock’ and get ready to bop your head along with these jams!

Big ones / AerosmithSure, you can see Steven Tyler on American Idol, but lets flash back to the 1980s during Aerosmith’s revival!  Get ready to rock out to some of Aerosmith’s  greatest hits!  Though, my favorite will always remain to be ‘Dude (Looks Like a Lady)’!

Next week–the 1990s!

The 1980s – DVDs

Here you’ll find a list of “Eighties” Films. Most of them were filmed during this decade but some are either set then or about that time period. We’ve tried to include something for everyone.



3 Men and a Baby – Three handsome Manhattan bachelors find their dating and mating rituals irreparably damaged when an unexpected roommate–complete with crib, pacifier, and dirty diaper–shows up on their doorstep

Adventures in Babysitting – A babysitter and three kids leave the safe suburbs and head for the heart of the big city to rescue a frantic friend.

Airplane! – The passengers and crew of an airplane suffer every catastrophe in the book in this spoof of disaster movies.

Alf – In September 1986, a loveable alien named Alf crashed his spaceship into the home of the unsuspecting Tanner family. For the next four years, Alf elusively avoided houseguests, chased the cat, ate everything in sight, but the Tanners always loved Alf.

Back to the Future Parts I, II, III – In Back to the future (part 1), it’s the mid-80’s, and Marty McFly is your average 17-year-old slacker who happens to be friends with an inventor, Doc Brown. Doc’s latest invention is a time machine, that ends up transporting Marty back to 1955 where he must bring get his parents together so that he will exist when he gets back to his own time. In Back to the future II, Marty visits 2015 to straighten out the future of the McFly family, but Biff Tannen steals the time machine, and with it a book that allows his young self to amass a gambling fortune, which has significant consequences to the present. To correct the problems, Marty and Doc must return to 1955 to retrieve the book. In Back to the future III Marty must travel back to 1885 to rescue Doc so that the rest of the adventures can happen.

Batman – A young boy who witnesses his parents’ murder grows up to become Batman, a masked and emotionally disturbed vigilante who battles against an arch-criminal known as The Joker.

Beetlejuice – After Barbara and Adam Maitland are killed in a car crash, they find themselves trapped as ghosts in their beautiful New England farmhouse. Their peaceful ‘existence’ is disrupted when a yuppie family, the Deetz’s, buy their house. The Maitlands are too nice and harmless as ghosts and all their efforts to scare the Deetz’s away are unsuccessful. They decide to call to Beetlejuice, a people-exorcizing ghost, for help.

Better Off Dead – After his girlfriend ditches him for a boorish ski jock, Lane decides that suicide is the only answer. However, his increasingly inept attempts only bring him more agony and embarrassment.

Beverly Hills Cop – Axel Foley is a brash, street smart Detroit detective who follows the trail of a friend’s murderer to the posh surroundings of Beverly Hills. And before Axel gets his man, he gets up to his neck in an international network of smugglers and drug peddlers.

BIG – A 12-year-old boy’s wish comes true when he asks a mechanical carnival genie to make him ‘big’. He manages to land a job at a toy company where he experiences the complications of being an adult.

Big Trouble in Little China – Jack Burton is a big-talking, wisecracking trucker who goes beneath the streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown to battle an army of spirits when his friend’s fiancee is kidnapped.

bill and ted'sBill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure – Screwball comedy about two high school students who face a difficult history exam. With the help of a time-traveling messenger they round up some historical heavyweights for their class project!

The Blues Brothers – Jake and Elwood Blues, two hoodlum brothers searching for redemption, set out to locate and reenlist the members of their defunct rhythm and blues band in order to raise some honest money.

Breakfast Club – Five teens from drastically different cliques spend a day in detention with each other, delving into each others’ true personalities.

Brewster’s Millions – Montgomery Brewster is a down-and-out baseball player who discovers that he is the only living relative of an eccentric multimillionaire. Monty stands to inherit $300 million, but only if he can spend $30 million in a single month without acquiring any assets. If he fails, it’s back to zero again.

The Burbs – A suspense-comedy in which Tom Hanks portrays a suburbanite whose plans for a peaceful vacation are disturbed by a creepy new family on the block.

caddyshackCaddyshack – The greenskeeper is about to start World War III– against a gopher. Pompous Judge Smails plays to win but his nubile nieceLacey Underall wants to score her own way. Playboy Ty Webb shoots perfect golf by becoming the ball. And country club loudmouth Al Czervik just doubled a $20,000 bet on a 10-foot putt. Insanity. No. Caddyshack.

The Care Bears Movie – Way up high where the clouds and rainbows live, the Care Bears watch over the Earth and make sure everyone is kind and friendly to each other. So when they see an evil spirit trick a lonely young boy into helping make people mean, the huggable heroes jump into action! Together with the animals from the Forest of Feelings, the Care Bears come to the rescue!

Coming to America – Comedy about a wealthy, pampered African prince who comes to America in search of a bride. Accompanied by his closest companion, the prince quickly finds a new job, new friends and lots of trouble.

Die Hard – A team of terrorists has seized a building in L.A. and taken hostages. A New York cop, in town to spend Christmas with his estranged wife, is the only hope for the people held by the savage criminals.

etE. T., The Extra-terrestrial – A ten-year-old boy befriends a creature from another planet that has been stranded on earth.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – A high school student is determined to get a day off with his friends in Chicago by outwitting his principal.

Flashdance – Alex Owens, a fiercely determined and beautiful 18 year old woman who works as a welder by day and as a dancer at a local bar at night. Alex struggles to gain independence, finds love, and realize her dream–to dance at the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance.

Follow That Bird – Oscar, Bert, Ernie and Cookie Monster join Big Bird in a bighearted, cross-country adventure. A meddling social worker sends poor Big Bird off to live with a feathered foster family in Illinois. But try as he might, he doesn’t fit in and runs away to return to Sesame Street. Now his old friends need to find him before he runs ‘afowl’ of trouble en route.

Footloose – City-boy Ren McCormick revolts with his best friend and the minister’s daughter when he finds himself in an uptight Midwestern town where dancing has been banned.

Friday the 13th – Camp Crystal Lake has been closed for over twenty years due to several vicious and unsolved murders. New owners reopen the camp, only to have each counselor stalked by a violent killer. This 24-hour nightmare of blood unfolds into a film which is widely acclaimed for its horrifying and creative murder sequences.

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie – A teenage boy accidentally releases a gang of dirty and disgusting children from a magical trashcan and enlists their help in fighting off the school bullies.

Ghostbusters – Suit up for classic comedy! When kooky, spooky college profs Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler lose their University jobs, they decide to go freelance, de-haunting houses in a new ghost removal service.

The Golden Child – Murphy goes to the rescue of a child with mystical powers who has been abducted by an evil cult.

The Goonies – The film follows a group of misfit kids as they search for buried treasure in a subterranean cavern. Here they cross the path of lady criminal Mama Fratelli and her outlaw brood. Fortunately, the kids manage to befriend Fratelli’s hideously deformed (but soft-hearted) son, who comes to their rescue.

Gremlins – When a young bank teller inadvertently breaks the rules of Mogwai care, his new pet Gizmo multiplies into a bevy of mischievous brothers, who soon morph into malevolent scaly creatures.

Hot Tub Time Machine – When a group of middle-aged men travel to a ski resort seeking a temporary escape from their failed, miserable lives, a drunken accident in a hot tub sends them back to 1986, where they get a chance to relive a night from the past and possibly change their futures forever.

Ice Castles – Alex Winston is young, beautiful and talented. She comes from nowhere to become a figure skating superstar. She has to push herself, reinvent herself, and most painfully of all, leave her boyfriend behind. When a tragic fall leaves her blind, she needs someone to believe in her, to love her and convince her she has the strength to skate and dream again.

The Karate Kid – Daniel, a 17-year-old, fatherless teenager, arrives in Los Angeles from the East and faces the difficult task of making friends. He becomes the object of bullying by a gang of karate students when he strikes up a relationship with Ali, the gang leader’s ex-girlfriend. Daniel asks Miyagi, a master of martial arts, to help him learn karate. He soon faces his greatest enemy in a karate tournament where more than honor is at stake.

License to Drive – All the comic stops are pulled out in this high-octane comedy about a boy, his car and his date with disaster!

Little Monsters – A kid meets the monster under his bed and follows him to his world.

The Lost Boys – A young teen thinks his town of Santa Cruz is infested with vampires, and becomes convinced of it when his own brother starts turning into one.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – When the affable host of an elegant Christmas party shoots a man to death, his friends discover secrets that make them less eager to help with his courtroom defense.

The Money Pit – Evicted from their Manhattan apartment, Walter and Anna buy what looks like the home of their dreams, only to find themselves with a bank-account-draining nightmare.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – Christmas is the perfect season for Clark Griswold and his family. Clark’s a disaster waiting to happen. You have to see it to believe it. There are 25,000 lights on the Griswold rooftop. An exploding turkey. And a house full of relatives.

National Lampoon’s Vacation – The Griswolds are going on vacation, trekking cross country in search of fun and recreation at Wally World.

The Neverending Story – The Nothing threatens to destroy Fantasia and its Child-Empress and a young warrior sets out to save them.

Nightmare on Elm Street – When her best friend Tina is brutally murdered, teenager Nancy suspects the killer isn’t Tina’s boyfriend but rather a much more horrifying figure from her dreams. Convinced that this vicious murderer is stalking her friends and killing them as they sleep, Nancy enters a desperate race against time to bring him out of her dream world and stop the bloodbath…before she falls asleep and becomes his next victim.

One Crazy Summer – Young people on Nantucket for the summer struggle with their parents’ expectations and fulfilling their own dreams.

Overboard – A super-rich and pretentious socialite winds up in the world of a struggling carpenter with four kids.

Popeye – Olive Oyl, Wimpy, Bluto and others join Popeye in his adventures in the harbor town of Sweethaven

Pretty in Pink – She’s a high school girl from the wrong side of town. He’s the wealthy heart-throb who asks her to the prom. But as fast as their romance builds, it’s threatened by the painful reality of peer pressure.

The Princess Bride – A kindly grandfather sits down with his grandson and reads him a bedtime story. As the grandfather reads the story, the action comes alive in a classic tale of love and adventure. The beautiful Buttercup is kidnapped and held against her will in order to marry the nasty Prince Humperdinck, while Westley (her childhood beau, now returned as the Dread Pirate Roberts) attempts to save her. Along the way he meets an accomplished swordsman and a giant, both of whom become his companions in his quest.

Private Benjamin – A pampered, spoiled upper-middle class widow joins the Army. The Army will never be the same.

Real Genius – When a group of crazy college geniuses put their heads together, their plan culminates in an incredible scheme that outsmarts the military and convinces the professor that it doesn’t pay to fool with real genius.

Red Dawn – When a town is invaded by foreign nationals and the security of the United States seems threatened, a group of high school students escape and wage warfare in defense of their parents, their friends and their country.

Revenge of the Nerds – Revenge of the nerds: Two freshman join the nerds in their battle against jocks using high-tech weapons only a nerd could dream of. Revenge of the nerds II: The nerds are off to Ft. Lauderdale for a national fraternity conference.

Rocky IV – Rocky faces his greatest challenge as he climbs into the ring against a savage Russian fighter, each determined to destroy the other.

Say Anything – A young man, recently graduated from high school, wants only one thing: a date with a fellow graduate. The catch is she’s beautiful, brilliant and headed to England to study, and all his friends and her father tell him she’s way out of his league. When they fall in love anyway, the result is a funny, poignant and joyous celebration of first love.

The Shining – When Jack Torrance moves into an isolated hotel to serve as the off-season caretaker, he brings along his wife and telepathic son. While Jack plans to write a novel, he soon finds himself distracted by mysterious occurences in the hotel that slowly drive him insane.

Shirley Valentine – An English housewife, bored with her life, goes on a vacation with a friend to Greece and finds that there’s more to life than just dishes and laundry when she has a fling with a handsome man.

Sixteen Candles – It’s Samantha Baker’s sweet sixteen and no one in her family remembers the important occasion. But wait…the day isn’t over yet!

St. Elmo’s Fire – Seven friends, recent college graduates, search for a place in the real world and face the issues of career and commitment. Against the backdrop of St. Elmo’s, their local hang-out, they save, betray and love each one another as only the closest of friends can.

Superman II – This epic takes up where Superman, the movie leaves off. Superman deals with a trio of villians whose powers rival Superman’s own.

Teen Wolf – Teen wolf: Scott Howard is a teenager who yearns to be more than just a nice, average guy and he gets his wish. From deep within his personality, the Teen Wolf emerges.

Tootsie – Michael Dorsey is an out-of-work actor who makes himself up as a woman to get a job. When his girlfriend, Sandy, fails an audition for a soap opera, Michael dresses up as “Dorothy Michaels” and lands the part. All goes well until “Dorothy” falls in love with beautiful co-star, Julie, and Julie’s father, Les, falls for “Dorothy.”

Top Gun – A daredevil Navy pilot striving to be the best at a Top Gun flight school doubts his abilities when his best friend is killed in training.

Trading Places – The lives of an upper class commodities broker and a homeless street hustler cross paths when they are unknowingly made part of an elaborate bet by two rich brothers.

Turner and Hooch – A compulsively neat detective’s tidy world goes to the dogs when he is forced to team up with a drooling slob of a junkyard dog named Hooch.

Uncle Buck – Uncle Buck, an idle good-natured bachelor, is left in charge of his nephew and nieces during a family crisis. While his carefree ways easily charm the younger relatives, he meets more than a little hostility from Tia, his rebellious teenage niece, and Chanice, his impatient girlfriend.

Valley Girl – Julie is, like, so over her preppy boyfriend, she dumps him on the escalator at the Galleria. And when she meets punker Randy, her eyes practically bug out because she thinks he’s sexy even though he makes her friends gag! But even if Randy’s ready to stop the world and melt with her, can Julie risk losing her friends and her super-popularity at school just to be with him?

Weekend at Bernies – Two employees uncover an embezzlement scheme in their company, and are rewarded with a weekend at their boss’s beach house, however, when they arrive, they find his corpse and then decide to pretend that he’s still alive.

Weird Science – Two nerdy best friends have the power to create the “perfect woman”. Like a computer-generated fairy godmother, the two use their creation to learn about the pleasures and pitfalls of adolescences.

1980s Books for All Ages

Here you’ll find a list of books that are either set in the 1980s or were written during this time. This list is broken down by age but there are many books that can be enjoyed by some or all of the age groups. This list is just a sample of the thousands of books that we can access through the county-wide system. Some descriptions were taken from the catalog, others from our Literature database; Novelist (click to access from home.)

Click on Titles to be taken to the Catalog


1984 By: Orwell, George – Portrays life in a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities.

1Q84 By: Murakami, Haruki – An ode to George Orwell’s “1984” told in alternating male and female voices relates the stories of Aomame, an assassin for a secret organization who discovers that she has been transported to an alternate reality, and Tengo, a mathematics lecturer and novice writer.

American Psycho By: Ellis, Bret Easton – In a black satire of the eighties, a decade of naked greed and unparalleled callousness, a successful Wall Street yuppie cannot get enough of anything–including murder.

Brick Lane By: Ali, Monica – Presents the story of two Bangladeshi sisters, one who chooses her destiny by opting for a “love marriage” and one who lets destiny dictate her future when she is married off to an older man and moves with him to a small, claustrophobic London flat.

The Eyre Affair By: Fforde, Jasper – In a world where one can literally get lost in literature, Thursday Next, a Special Operative in literary detection, tries to stop the world’s Third Most Wanted criminal from kidnapping characters, including Jane Eyre, from works of literature.

Flyy Girl By: Tyree, Omar – A year in the life of Tracy Ellison, a 16-year-old black girl, showing her evolution from a promiscuous manipulator of boys to a responsible young woman thanks to, among other things, the teachings of Louis Farrakhan. The setting is a middle-class black suburb of Philadelphia.

The Inheritance of Loss By: Desai, Kiran – In a crumbling house in the remote northeastern Himalayas, an embittered, elderly judge finds his peaceful retirement turned upside down by the arrival of his orphaned granddaughter, Sai.

Killing Time By: Howard, Linda – Twenty years after a time capsule is buried under the front lawn of a small-town courthouse, the capsule is dug up and its contents stolen, an event that coincides with the murders of the contributors to the time capsule.

The Line of Beauty By: Hollinghurst, Alan – Moving into the attic room in the Notting Hill home of the wealthy, politically connected Fedden family in 1983, twenty-year-old Nick Guest becomes caught up in the rising fortunes of this glamorous family and finds his own life forever altered by his association during the boom years of the 1980s.

The Marriage Plot By: Eugenides, Jeffrey – Madeleine Hanna breaks out of her straight-and-narrow mold when she enrolls in a semiotics course and falls in love with charismatic loner Leonard Morten, a time which is complicated by the resurfacing of man who is obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is his destiny.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil By: Berendt, John – In charming, beautiful, and wealthy old-South Savannah, Georgia, the local bad boy is shot dead inside of the opulent mansion of a gay antiques dealer, and a gripping trial follows.

No Country for Old Men By: McCarthy, Cormac – Stumbling upon a bloody massacre, a cache of heroin, and more than $2 million in cash during a hunting trip, Llewelyn Moss removes the money, a decision that draws him and his young wife into the middle of a violent confrontation.

Push By: Sapphire – A courageous and determined young teacher opens up a new world of hope and redemption for sixteen-year-old Precious Jones, an abused young African American girl living in Harlem who was raped and left pregnant by her father.

See How they Run By: Patterson, James – A long-germinating plot for revenge, first conceived in the extermination camps of Nazi Germany, erupts in full force during the 1980 Olympics in Moscow when a group of terrorists delivers a shocking ultimatum.

True to the Game: a Teri Woods Fable By: Woods, Teri – Gena, a street-smart Philadelphian, finds her life turned upside down by a whirlwind romance with Quadir, a wealthy man who can give her whatever she wants but whose connections with a powerful drug cartel could threaten both their lives.


Bog Child By: Dowd, Siobhan – In 1981, the height of Ireland’s “Troubles,” eighteen-year-old Fergus is distracted from his upcoming A-level exams by his imprisoned brother’s hunger strike, the stress of being a courier for Sinn Fein, and dreams of a murdered girl whose body he discovered in a bog.

The Chicken Dance By: Couvillon, Jacques – When eleven-year-old Don Schmidt wins a chicken-judging contest in his small town of Horse Island, Louisiana and goes from outcast to instant celebrity, even his neglectful mother occasionally takes notice of him and eventually he discovers some shocking family secrets.

Everything Beautiful in the World By: Levchuk, Lisa – Toward the end of the disco era, seventeen-year-old Edna refuses to visit her mother, who is in a New York City hospital undergoing cancer treatment, and barely speaks to her father, who finally puts her in psychotherapy, while her crush on an art teacher turns into a full-blown affair.

A Girl named Disaster By: Farmer, Nancy – While journeying to Zimbabwe from Mozambique, eleven-year-old Nhamo struggles to escape drowning and starvation and in so doing comes close to the luminous world of the African spirits.

Here Comes the Garbage Barge! By: Winter, Jonah – In the spring of 1987, the town of Islip, New York, with no place for its 3,168 tons of garbage, loads it on a barge that sets out on a 162-day journey along the east coast, around the Gulf of Mexico, down to Belize, and back again, in search of a place willing to accept and dispose of its very smelly cargo.

Kensuke’s Kingdom By: Morpurgo, Michael – When Michael is swept off his family’s yacht, he washes up on a desert island, where he struggles to survive–until he finds he is not alone.

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story By: Park, Linda Sue – When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven. Based on the life of Salva Dut, who, after emigrating to America in 1996, began a project to dig water wells in Sudan.

Night of the Twisters By: Ruckman, Ivy – A fictional account of the night freakish and devastating tornadoes hit Grand Island, Nebraska, as experienced by a twelve-year-old, his family, and friends.

Paper Covers Rock By: Hubbard, Jenny – In 1982 Buncombe County, North Carolina, sixteen-year-old Alex Stromm writes of the aftermath of the accidental drowning of a friend, as his English teacher reaches out to him while he and a fellow boarding school student try to cover things up.

Pepperland By: Delaney, Mark – Sixteen-year-old Star is angry that her mother has died and nothing seems to make her feel better. It is not until Star finds an unsent letter addressed to John Lennon and a broken-down vintage Gibson guitar that she begins to find a way out of her grief and maybe even a way to take care of some unfinished business left by her mother.

A Stone in My Hand By: Clinton, Cathryn – Eleven-year-old Malaak and her family are touched by the violence in Gaza between Jews and Palestinians when first her father disappears and then her older brother is drawn to the Islamic Jihad.

The Summer I Learned to Fly By: Reinhardt, Dana – Drew (13) is a bit of a loner. She has a pet rat, a treasured book of lists from her dead father, and an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese from working at her mother’s gourmet cheese shop. Drew meets a strange boy named Emmett in the alley behind the shop while searching for her escaped pet. Emmett surprises Drew with his knowledge of rats and the two become friends. Emmett confides his dream of finding a legendary spring with healing powers, and Drew betrays her mother’s trust by running away with Emmett in search of the magic waters. Set in California in the 1980s, this quiet novel touches on themes of friendship, love, and sacrifice.

Watchmen By: Moore, Alan – Exceptional graphic artwork brings to life the story of the Watchmen as they race against time to find a killer, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

Zayda Was a Cowboy By: Nislick, June – When a Jewish grandfather comes to live with his son’s family, he relates his experiences fleeing Eastern Europe for America, his adventures as a cowboy, and his assimilation into American culture.

1980s – History and SPL Programs



In one sense nothing distinguished the 1980s as a decade; instead, its cultural preoccupations and political symbols were borrowed from other decades. Little during the time was original or new: almost universally the art and literature of the period required some sense of precedent in order to be under-stood; politics and culture seemed locked into agendas set prior to the decade. The dominant political figure of the era, President Ronald Reagan, expressed an economic philosophy derived from the 1920s (or, perhaps, from the 1890s), a populist rhetoric borrowed from the 1930s, the can-do optimism of the 1940s, and an anticommunism straight out of the 1950s. His political opponents at-tacked him via the liberalism of the 1930s and 1940s or through the social radicalism of the 1960s and 1970s. The arts and fashion in the 1980s were dominated by stylistic borrowings: Art Deco from the 1930s, Abstract Expressionism and film noir from the 1940s, commercial kitsch from the 1950s, rock music and countercultural experimentalism from the 1960s. American lifestyle during the decade witnessed a continuing clash between the Reagan generation, who derived their sense of the “normal” or “natural” from the 1940s and 1950s, and the baby boomers, who challenged these norms in the 1960s and 1970s. The 1980s, in other words, contained the volatile historical forces and cultural conflicts of much of twentieth-century America. –Read More Here.

Source: “Introduction.” American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 9: 1980-1989. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale U.S. History In Context. Web. 23 July 2012.

Join us this week for these “Between the Decades” Programs.

Decades Documentaries – Ronald Reagan: An American Journey (1980s)- Tuesday, July 24 @ 2PM – Experience the astonishing political career of one of the most influential and popular political figures of the past three decades with this in-depth look at Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States. Now you can relive the historical milestones that shaped him including his early political career as governor, his debates with Carter and Mondale, the assassination attempt, his trailblazing relations with major international leaders like Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev, and his relationship with his wife, Nancy. This remarkable, feature-length look at Reagan’s achievements is packed with incredible archival footage including highlights and news coverage from his groundbreaking speeches and debates as well as the major world events he faced in office. From his early political career to his eight years leading his country, Reagan changed the face of modern American politics and became immediately recognized as a statesman and speaker like no other, and now his legacy continues with this essential portrait of one of America’s most important leaders.

Decades Movies: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1980) – Friday, July 27 @ 2PM – “Bueller? Bueller??” Sorry, not here! Instead, high-schooler Ferris Bueller (Mathew Broderick), his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara), and his best bud Cameron (Alan Ruck) are off on the spontaneous romp through Chicago known as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. (1986, 107min, PG-13)


Music of the 1970s

This week we visit the 1970s on our journey through history.  You’re in for a groovy time this week while I bring you the disco and rock music that made the decade!

ABBA gold : greatest hits – This is the part where I admit that I shamefully listen to ABBA way too frequently.  Yes.  While I stomp through my college campus, on my way to class, and on the outside I may seem sullen, but inside I’m silently rocking out to Dancing Queen.  ABBA is great for getting the party started because practically every one of their songs are upbeat!  My personal favorite happens to be ‘Waterloo’!

The essential Simon & Garfunkel – Their music is timeless really.  I listen to Simon and Garfunkel whenever life just seems to be moving too fast.  Check out their ‘Best Of’ album to beat the stress.  My favorite is ‘Cecilia’!

Back in Black –  AC/DC: For those times that those daily stresses get to be too much and Simon and Garfunkle aren’t cutting it.  I reccomend a dose of AC/DC, cranked to the highest level possible!  My track of choice ‘Shoot to Thrill’.

Jackson 5 – These legendary Jackson family began their careers as part of the iconic Jackson 5!  This album will have you taping your toes and bopping your head to their incredibly harmonies!  I love the song ‘ABC’ and I play it on my radio show every chance I get!

Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen : Nothing gets me more pumped up than the title track from the 1975 sucess ‘Born to Run’.  I don’t know what it is, but this album gets me ready to take on the world.  Check out this album for the classic rock album that’s stuck around for over three decades!

Next week: The 1980s!

The 1970s – DVDs

Here you’ll find a list of “Seventies” Films. Some of them were filmed during this decade but the majority are either set then or about that time period. We’ve tried to include something for everyone.


Almost Famous – It’s the opportunity of a lifetime when teenage reporter William Miller lands an assignment from Rolling Stone magazine. Despite the objections of his protective mother, William hits the road with an up-and-coming rock band and finds there’s a lot more to write home about than the music.

Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy – It’s the 70’s and Ron Burgundy is the king of San Diego. He’s the most popular news anchor in town. He and his all male news team rule the city with their sauve looks, minimal IQ’s and unbelievably bad hair. In Ron’s world, women don’t belong in the newsroom. So when rising star reporter Veronica Corningstone fills in for Ron one night and the ratings soar, it becomes more than a battle … it becomes war.

Apollo 13 – True story of how three astronauts, stranded 205,000 miles above the earth, fight a battle to survive while Mission Control works against time to bring them home.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress: a Tailor Made Romance – Set in the early 1970s during the later stages of China’s Cultural Revolution, two city-bred teenage best friends are sent to a backward mountainous region for Maoist re-education.

Born on the Fourth of July – A young man joins the army and fights in Vietnam, only to become a wheelchair-bound paraplegic resulting from battle. He then becomes a loud voice in the anti-war movement. Based on Ron Kovic’s book.

Casino – Two mobsters head to Las Vegas in the 1970s to manage the Tangiers casino and establish the Mafia’s presence in the city’s gambling industry.

Dazed and Confused – Coming of age story of high school students in the ’70s. Eight seniors facing life after high school have one last party.

Detroit Rock City – Follows three best friends in 1978 as they hit the road to see their favorite band–Kiss.

Dirty Harry – A violently inclined San Francisco police inspector is the only cop who is able to arrest a rooftop sniper. When the man is released through lack of evidence, he takes private revenge.

Dog Day Afternoon – Based on actual events that took place one hot August afternoon in 1972, the movie recreates the incredible circumstances surrounding an ill-fated Brooklyn bank robbery attempt.

Donnie Brasco – This true story follows FBI agent Joe Pistone as he infiltrates the Mafia of New York.

Edward Scissorhands – Once upon a time in a castle high on a hill lived an inventor whose greatest creation was named Edward. Although Edward had an irresistible charm, he wasn’t quite perfect. The inventor’s sudden death left him unfinished, with sharp shears of metal for hands. Edward lived alone in the darkness until one day a kind Avon Lady took him home to live with her family. And so began Edward’s fantastic adventures in a pastel paradise known as Suburbia.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Fueled by a suitcase full of pharmaceuticals, journalist Raoul Duke and his sidekick Dr. Gonzo set off on a fast and furious ride through nonstop neon, surreal surroundings and a crew of crazy characters.

Field of Dreams – Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella is inspired by a voice he can’t ignore to pursue a dream he can hardly believe. Supported by his wife, Annie, Ray begins the quest by turning his ordinary cornfield into a place where dreams can come true.

The Greatest – A dramatization of the life of Muhammad Ali, from his Olympic gold medal victories to his battle to regain his heavyweight title.

Harold and Maude – A black comedy about a rich, disturbed, young man, fascinated with death and funerals, who has an affair and a series of adventures with an eccentric and independent 80-year-old woman.

The Hoax – Pathological liar Clifford Irving stages a complex hoax. In the 1970’s Irving managed to fool a major publisher and LIFE magazine into thinking he was writing an authorized biography of Howard Hughes. Irving and his best friend and partner, Dick Susskind, go to extreme lengths to pull off the hair-brained scheme.

Jesus Christ Superstar – Rock opera musical version of the last days of Christ.

Kingpin – Roy Munson is a pro bowler who seems destined for greatness, or as close to greatness as a bowler can get. But after a run-in with angry competitors, Roy finds himself sadder, wiser and minus his bowling hand. Years later, he thinks he’s found his ticket back to the big time when he meets the naive Ishmael, an Amish bowling whiz. Together, they set out for a million-dollar tournament in Reno.

The Kite Runner – As young boys living in Afghanistan, Amir and Hassan were inseparable friends, until one fateful act tore them apart. Years later, Amir will embark on a dangerous quest to right the wrongs of the past.

The Last King of Scotland – Chronicles Idi Amin’s rise and fall. Amin’s despotic reign of terror is viewed through the eyes of Nicholas Garrigan, a Scottish doctor who arrives in Uganda in the early 1970s to serve as Amin’s personal physician. His perspective as an outsider causes him to be initially impressed by Amin’s calculated rise to power and he grows increasingly monstrous. A pointed examination of how independent Uganda (a British colony until 1962) became a breeding ground for Amin’s genocidal tyranny. Amin is both seductive and horribly destructive. Garrigan grows increasingly prone to exploitation.

The Longest Yard (1974) – Filmed on location at the Georgia State Prison, semi-pro football is played with the cons as the heroes and the guards as the heavies.

The Lords of Dogtown – Based on the true story of the legendary Z-Boys, this film is a fictionalized take on a brilliant group of young skateboarders who perfect their craft in the empty swimming pools of unsuspecting suburban homeowners, pioneering a thrilling new sport.

Milk – His life changed history. His courage changed lives. Harvey Milk is a middle-aged New Yorker who, after moving to San Francisco, became a Gay Rights activist and city politician. On his third attempt, he was elected to San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors in 1977. His election makes him the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States. The following year, both he and the city’s mayor, George Moscone, were shot to death by former city supervisor, Dan White, who blamed his former colleagues for denying White’s attempt to rescind his resignation from the board. Based on the inspiring true story of Harvey Milk.

Nixon – A riveting look at a complex man, Richard Nixon, whose chance at greatness was ultimately destroyed by his passion for power–when his involvement in conspiracy jeopardized the nation’s security and the presidency of the United States.

Now and Then – A heartwarming comedy about the childhood mischief of four best friends who reunite after twenty years.

Remember the Titans – A drama of forced high school integration in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971. After leading his team to fifteen winning seasons, white football coach Bill Yoast is demoted and replaced by African-American Herman Boone, tough, opinionated and as different from Yoast as could be. The two men overcome their differences and turn a group of hostile young men into champions. A rousing celebration of how a town torn apart by resentment, friction and mistrust comes together in triumphant harmony.

Rocky – Rocky Balboa, the underdog, gets his million-to-one shot at love, self-respect and the world heavyweight boxing crown and comes out a winner.

Roll Bounce – X and his friends rule their local 1970s roller-rink, that is until they are shocked to discover that their home base is going out of business. Heading over to the Sweetwater Roller Rink, they find their modest talents are, at first, no competition for their trick skaters and pretty girls who follow their every move. Now Xavier and his crew must pull together as a team to try and win big money at a rival rink’s Roller Jam skate-off.

Rudy – Although people have told Rudy all his life he’s not good enough, smart enough or big enough, nothing can stop his impossible dream of playing football for Notre Dame.

Secretariat – The spectacular journey of an incredible horse named Secretariat and the moving story of his unlikely owner, a housewife who risked everything to make him a champion.

Taxi Driver – A psychotic taxi driver tries to save a child prostitute and becomes infatuated with a political campaigner. He goes on a violent rampage when his dreams don’t work out.

The Virgin Suicides – When school hunk Trip Fontain convinces the beautiful but sheltered Lisbon sisters to go to the prom, the romantic fantasies of a group of neighborhood boys threaten to come true– until all are engulfed in a stunning chain of events that will change their lives forever.

The War – It’s Mississippi, the summer of 1970, and two children are determined to build the ultimate treehouse with their friends, while their father, a newly returned Vietnam vet, has equally high hopes to rebuild his life.

1970s Books for All Ages

Here you’ll find a list of books that are either set in the 1970s or were written during this time. This list is broken down by age but there are many books that can be enjoyed by some or all of the age groups. This list is just a sample of the thousands of books that we can access through the county-wide system. Some descriptions were taken from the catalog, others from our Literature database; Novelist (click to access from home.)

Click on Titles to be taken to the Catalog


After This By: McDermott, Alice – A portrait of an American family during the middle decades of the twentieth century evokes the social, spiritual, and political turmoil of the era as seen through the experiences of a middle-class couple and their children.

Big Stone Gap By: Trigiani, Adriana – The 35-year-old self-proclaimed spinster of a small Virginia village discovers a skeleton in her family’s formerly tidy closet that completely unravels her quiet, conventional life.

Breakfast of Champions: or, Goodbye Blue Monday! By: Vonnegut, Kurt – The author questions the condition of modern man in this novel depicting a science fiction writer’s struggle to find peace and sanity in the world.

The Bright Forever By: Martin, Lee – The disappearance of nine-year-old Katie Mackey, the daughter of the most affluent family in a small Indiana town, while riding her bicycle to town to return some library books, has profound repercussions for her entire family.

Divisadero By: Ondaatje, Michael – Fleeing the violence that destroyed her family and separated her from her sister Claire and Coop, an enigmatic young man who lives with them, Anna finds refuge in an isolated house in south-central France, while she struggles to reconcile the past and present.

A Gathering of Old Men By: Gaines, Ernest J. – The murder of a white Cajun farmer named Boutan unleashes a fury of buried hatred and defiance, as Sheriff Mapes tries to identify the killer–a white overseer and a group of Black farmers all claim responsibility–and prevent revenge.

Her Father’s House By: Plain, Belva – Decades after her father kidnapped her from his ex-wife’s home to save her from an unstable environment, a young woman struggles to come to terms with her father’s criminal action and the deception that forms the foundation of her entire life.

The Historian By: Kostova, Elizabeth – Discovering a medieval book and a cache of letters, a motherless American girl becomes the latest in a series of historians, including her late father, who investigate the possible surviving legacy of Vlad the Impaler.

I Am Legend By: Matheson, Richard – A lone human survivor in a world that is overrun by vampires, Robert Neville leads a desperate life in which he must barricade himself in his home every night and hunt down the starving undead by day.

The Kite Runner By: Hosseini, Khaled – Traces the unlikely friendship of a wealthy Afghan youth and a servant’s son, in a tale that spans the final days of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the atrocities of the present day.

The Last Juror By: Grisham, John – Convicted of the murder of a young mother in a 1970 trial that ended with his threat to seek revenge against the jurors, Danny Padgitt is paroled after nine years in prison and returns to the scene of the trial in Ford County, Mississippi.

Let the Great World Spin By: McCann, Colum – A rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s.

Lord of Misrule By: Gordon, Jaimy – At the rock-bottom end of the sport of kings sits the ruthless and often violent world of cheap horse racing, where trainers and jockeys, grooms and hotwalkers, loan sharks and touts all struggle to take an edge, or prove their luck, or just survive. Equal parts Nathanael West, Damon Runyon and Eudora Welty, Lord of Misrule follows five characters, scarred and lonely dreamers in the American grain, through a year and four races at Indian Mount Downs, downriver from Wheeling, West Virginia– from dust jacket.

Once a Runner By: Parker, John L., Jr. – Distance runner Quenton Cassidy is suspended from the track team for his involvement in an athlete protest and risks his future prospects to train on a monastic retreat with an Olympic medalist.

Paradise By: Morrison, Toni – Tells the story of Ruby, Oklahoma, an all Black town settled by a dozen families in the 1890s when they were turned away from other communities. But now it’s the 1970s and the men of the town blame the women and the women’s shelter for the change in their community’s character.

Restless By: Boyd, William – When someone tries to kill her three decades after being trained as a spy, Sally Gilmartin reveals the truth about her past to her daughter, Ruth, a young single mother with a growing problem with alcohol, who is given the task of finding the man who recruited Sally for the secret service.

Vinegar Hill By: Ansay, A. Manette – In 1972, Ellen Grier, her husband, and their two children return to Holly’s Field, Wisconsin. There they must live with her in-laws, in a loveless house where everyday cruelty threatens to destroy her spirit.

The Virgin Suicides By: Eugenides, Jeffrey – The narrator and his friends piece together the events that led up to suicides of the Lisbon girls, brainy Therese, fastidious Mary, ascetic Bonnie, libertine Lux, and saintly Cecilia.

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! By: Flagg, Fannie – TV anchorwoman Dena Nordstrom, the pride of the network, is a woman whose future is full of promise her present rich with complications, and her past marked by mystery.

White Teeth By: Smith, Zadie – Set in post-war London, this novel of the racial, political, and social upheaval of the last half-century follows two families–the Joneses and the Iqbals, both outsiders from within the former British empire–as they make their way in modern England.


Accidents of Nature By: Johnson, Harriet McBryde – Having always prided herself on blending in with “normal” people despite her cerebral palsy, seventeen-year-old Jean begins to question her role in the world while attending a summer camp for children with disabilities.

Brothers, Boyfriends, & Other Criminal Minds By: Lurie, April – While living on the same block as several members of the Mafia does have the advantage of a lower crime rate, fourteen-year-old April and her brother find there are times when it is also a major disadvantage.

Dreams of Significant Girls By: García , Cristina – This story of three girls who spend summers in an exclusive boarding school in Switzerland begins in 1971. The three girls from very different backgrounds form a bond as they spend the summer as roommates and the school year apart. Shirin is a pampered Iranian, Ingrid is a sexually adventurous German-Canadian with a talent for photography, and Vivien is a Cuban-Jewish New Yorker with a flair for the culinary arts. The boarding school setting provides an intriguing background for this coming of age story celebrating the power of female friendships.

Eva Underground By: Mackall, Dandi Daley – The year 1978 has been a pretty good one for Eva Lott. She has a terrific best friend, she’s dating the best-looking guy in school, and she just made the varsity swim team. So when her widowed dad says it’s time for them to move, she’s not exactly thrilled. And when he tells her that he intends to move to Communist Poland to help with a radical underground movement . . . Well, it’s all downhill from there.

Feathers By: Woodson, Jacqueline – When a new, white student nicknamed “The Jesus Boy” joins her sixth grade class in the winter of 1971, Frannie’s growing friendship with him makes her start to see some things in a new light.

Flutter: the Story of Four Sisters and an Incredible Journey By: Moulton, Erin E. – Nine-and-a-half-year-old Maple and her older sister, Dawn, must work together to face treacherous terrain, wild animals, and poachers as they trek through Vermont’s Green Mountains seeking a miracle for their prematurely-born sister.

Half Brother By: Oppel, Kenneth – For 13 years, Ben Tomlin was an only child. But all that changes when his mother brings home his new baby brother Zan–an eight-day-old chimpanzee.

Hard Ball: a Billy Baggs Novel By: Weaver, Will – A fourteen-year-old Minnesota farm boy has to figure out how to get along with the arch-rival in his love life and on the baseball diamond, and both boys must learn how to deal with the unfair expectations of their fathers.

I Rode the Red Horse: Secretariat’s Belmont Race By: Libby, Barbara – Tells the story of Secretariat’s victory in the 1973 Belmont Stakes, the last of the three races in the Triple Crown, from the point of view of the winning jockey, Ron Turcotte.

Inside Out and Back Again By: Lai, Thanhha – No one would believe me but at times I would choose wartime in Saigon over peacetime in Alabama. For all the ten years of her life, HÀ has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by . . . and the beauty of her very own papaya tree. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. HÀ and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, HÀ discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, the strange shape of its landscape . . . and the strength of her very own family.

The Liberation of Gabriel King By: Going, K. L. – In Georgia during the summer of 1976, Gabriel, a white boy who is being bullied, and Frita, an African American girl who is facing prejudice, decide to overcome their many fears together as they enter fifth grade.

Life History of a Star By: Easton, Kelly – For more than a year, fourteen-year-old Kristin uses her diary to record her confused thoughts about the physical changes brought on by adolescence and the emotional strain on her family of living with the “ghost” of her beloved older brother who was physically and mentally destroyed while serving in Vietnam.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers By: Gerstein, Mordicai – A lyrical evocation of Philippe Petit’s 1974 tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers.

Night of the Howling Dogs By: Salisbury, Graham – In 1975, eleven Boy Scouts, their leaders, and some new friends camping at Halape, Hawaii, find their survival skills put to the test when a massive earthquake strikes, followed by a tsunami.

Revolution is Not a Dinner Party By: Compestine, Ying Chang – Starting in 1972 when she is nine years old, Ling, the daughter of two doctors, struggles to make sense of the communists’ Cultural Revolution, which empties stores of food, homes of appliances deemed “bourgeois,” and people of laughter.

Tales of the Madman Underground: an Historical Romance, 1973 By: Barnes, John – In September 1973, as the school year begins in his depressed Ohio town, high-school senior Kurt Shoemaker determines to be “normal,” despite his chaotic home life with his volatile, alcoholic mother and the deep loyalty and affection he has for his friends in the therapy group dubbed the Madman Underground.

When You Reach Me By: Stead, Rebecca – As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, “The $20,000 Pyramid,” a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town By: Holt, Kimberly Willis – During the summer of 1971 in a small Texas town, thirteen-year-old Toby and his best friend Cal meet the star of a sideshow act, 600-pound Zachary, the fattest boy in the world.

Wild Girls By: Murphy, Pat – When thirteen-year-old Joan moves to California in 1972, she becomes friends with Sarah, who is timid at school but an imaginative leader when they play in the woods. After winning a writing contest together, they are recruited for an exclusive summer writing class that gives them new insights into themselves and others.

Wonderstruck By: Selznick, Brian – Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City, and meets there Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life. Ben’s story is told in words; Rose’s in pictures.


1970s – History and SPL Programs


It is easy to dismiss the 1970s as the decade that never happened. The political and cultural trends of the 1960s continued to dominate life in the United States at least until President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974; the political and cultural trends of the 1980s were manifested with increasing visibility for the remainder of the decade. Feminism, drugs, progressive education, busing, pornography, exotic religions, paranoia, welfare, ethnic politics, long hair, blue jeans, platform shoes, and amphetamines lingered from the 1960s. Conservativism, cowboys, televangelists, flag-waving, energy saving, rising cost of living, teen moms, pickup trucks, overseas investments, Sun Belt shift, cocaine, sound bites, and acid rain anticipated the 1980s. The 1970s, it seems, have little to define them except, perhaps, their nothingness. Peter Carroll, one of the earliest historians of the age, even titled his study It Seemed Like Nothing Happened (1982). Historical events, of course, occurred. The Kent State shootings, the Christmas bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong, the resignation of Nixon, the energy crisis, and the Iran hostage crisis all transpired during the course of the decade, but they are events identified with the spirit of the revolutionary 1960s or the avaricious 1980s.–Read More Here.

Source: “Introduction.” American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 8: 1970-1979. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale U.S. History In Context. Web. 16 July 2012.

Join us this week for these “Between the Decades” Programs.

Decades Documentaries – Tupperware (1970s) – Tuesday, July 17 @ 2PM – Charting the invention and subsequent phenomenon surrounding the exciting new plastic containers that became a gigantic hit with American housewives, TUPPERWARE! is a humorous, informative documentary featuring some classic historical stock footage.

Decade Dancing: 1970’s! – Thursday, July 19 @ 6:30PM – Let’s get Disco Fever! Learn the dances of the decades and join us for an evening of music and movement! All Ages. Please register.

Decades Movies: Jesus Christ Superstar (1970s) – Friday, July 20 @ 2PM – Rock opera musical version of the last days of Christ. (1973, 107min, G)

Sewickley Antique Roadshow – Saturday, July 21 @ 1:30PM – Carol Foster, Accredited Senior Appraiser, will evaluate antiques that are hand-carried to this event. Each person may bring two items. Items such as dolls, toys, glassware, paintings, vintage clothing and silver are accepted. Jewelry, stamps and coins are not included. Registration is required as space is limited. The charge is $5.00 per item, and part of the proceeds will be donated to the library. Photos of your item may be submitted before the event to enable preliminary research. Please email photos to sewickley@einetwork.net or drop them off at the Reference Desk. Please register.