Awful Library Books’ Guide to Teen Life


If there’s anything funnier than adults trying to pander to teenagers, we haven’t found it. While contemporary attempts to get through to sext-happy high schoolers are certainly hilarious, we prefer the vintage charms of the teen-oriented tomes at Awful Library Books. After the jump, we’ve used their archives to curate a guide to retro adolescence, from a “disco rollerskating” manual to a book on eating disorders that stars a girl who’s totally obsessed with David Bowie.

Recreation Skateboarding, ’80s style!

If this book actually delivered on its title’s impossible promise, we’d be impressed.

Working title: The Dangerous Book for Boys

The book that inspired Roll Bounce

Tip #1: Serve cookies, not flowers.

Love and relationships Apparently, in 1953, marriage wasn’t an “if” — it was a “when.”

Here’s hoping this book was aimed at teenage girls…

We have to imagine this balance beam is some kind of overwrought metaphor

Questions answered include: What does it mean when my female date shows up in a bow tie? Is this a women’s lib thing?

Controlled substances Huffing! RIFYL: facial tattoos. This totally explains Mike Tyson.

Those crazy teenagers! They spend hours teasing their bangs, only to crouch in a cement-block corner sipping grain alcohol from a paper bag!

Why do drugs when you can get high just staring at this book cover?

Andy would be so proud.

Besides the fact that she’s trapped on an alcohol bottle label, she doesn’t look so rough to us.

Psychodrama You know it’s serious when they’ve started manufacturing playing cards with your teen’s face printed on them.

We guess it makes sense that a teen bulimic might be completely obsessed with David Bowie…

Don’t you hate when all the kids won’t stop pressuring you to try spiky shoes?

Oh, good — turns out that case of “klutziness” isn’t terminal.

Did you realize that teen depression and suicide were psychoactive drugs? The more you know…

Your body, yourself Talk to the hand, teen mom

So. Meta.

Tip #1: Always have a carrot at the ready!

20 years ago, this is what Facebook looked like.

Did you hear the good news? Wearing frumpy, layered clothing is just as effective against AIDS as condoms!