The characters were interchangeable – Shana Bradbury who with the exception of having an absent sheik father and washed up actress mother was just like Katie Nolan who went home to suburban life after every shoot. The only original character was fourteen year old Jewel Nolan, Katie’s spunky tag-along sister. Most of the plots hinged on a problem concerning an animal that Val would help solve. For all it was worth the reader saw only tail ends of soap scenes and the glamorized lifestyle of being a teenage star was watered down. The protagonist was Valentine ‘Val’ Taylor an animal lover like her veterinarian father who owned the Animal Inn, his clinic, where Val helped him out.
For it’s thirteen year reign it was the apple of Apple paperbacks eye , spawning spin offs and series evolutions like a tadpole sprouting it’s ever handy limbs ( good for grabbing more readers , more fans ) .
Only lasting five years less than Sweet Valley though they folded the same year.
A GUIDE TO 80’S TEEN SERIES PART 1 – A TO D Abracadabra Bantam put out this fantasy driven series in 1989 and like most powers-without- responsibilities themes many of the plots centered around 13 year old protagonist Dawn suffering the repercussions of her capricious spell casting. The stories focused on main character Alex a spunky , sporty little girl and rather like Ramona ( as in the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary ) she found herself in one gentle disaster after another.
Although it can come in handy to summon Albert Einstein for a math lesson and cause a teacher’s pet to speak only in pig Latin most of her spells ( like most teen witches ) backfire. Each story had a yummy food twist title accenting the lesson Alex usually learned over the course of the plot but without some of the moral saccharin some authors felt inclined to include.
The Fire at Mary Anne’s House – 1999 Super Specials 1.