100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Photos: Let’s Order Books Like it’s 1992

Let’s, for a moment, unlock the vault labeled “Recent History” (a.k.a. an old box my wife was recently unpacking), and see what we find…

(click images to enlarge)

Ahh, yes – a Scholastic Book Club flier from 18 years ago. Right around the time our current college freshmen were born. You know about these fliers, right? Distributed monthly to schools in just about every last corner of the country, the book club flier brings back fond memories for many. I’m feeling the urge to make a couple wildly random observations:

Dynamite #164 featuring Beverly Hills 90210. Nice.

I loved this show when it was on. I don’t think it gets enough credit (/blame) for popularizing use of the ridiculous word “bro” among male friends. Take a look at the details and you’re in for another pop-culture flashback: Paula Abdul and C&C Music Factory posters inside. College freshmen were born when this came out? Hmm, this wasn’t that long ago. I’m feeling out of touch.

Novelty pencils, how quaint.

The heart themed pencils seem downright ancient compared to the whiz-bangery served up nowadays, where writing utensils write in invisible ink, light up, and/or create a smokescreen kids can use to lengthen recess time.

$.95 books.

This looks crazy, doesn’t it? I know that Scholastic currently does $1 specials, but dropping down into the cents? I think I can hear the change jars rattling from here in 2010.

Newbery books.

It can’t be said that Scholastic wasn’t pushing the Newbery books. The Golden Goblet, Lincoln: A Photobiography, Moccasin Trail – all Newbery-recognized.

Aww Yeah. You Be the Jury.

I still have these around somewhere. The case is presented, you predict the verdict. I loved these, and am still waiting for my shot at jury duty when I can put the skills I honed to the test.

In 1992 Dell Yearling and Apple paperbacks were still kinda cool.

Case in point: Everyone Else’s Parents Said Yes above. Now I’m starting to feel bad. The paperback editions that have graced many an Unfortunate Covers post were still in their heyday.

Wildly random observations complete.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. What a blast from the past! I still get excited as an adult to look through new Scholastic fliers – I loved looking at this old one!

  2. Awww, I loved the Scholastic book catalogs! I’d save up my allowance and my parents would match every dollar I wanted to spend on books. Happy days, those. :)

  3. Oh, that’s really fun. You know, we still have a couple of those You Be a Jury books in the library collection.

    • Nice! Mine are in a box with my most valuable possessions from when I was a kid: comics, sports cards, and Garfield and Far Side anthologies.

  4. They were always such a good deal. No tax, no shipping. Always got the Calvin & Hobbs.

  5. Awesome! I remember these flyers with excited nostalgia.

  6. Wow! I just threw out the exact copy of COUSINS (Scholastic Apple edition, same cover, most likely ordered in 1992) from my classroom libray. It was missing too many pages. :) But hey, 18 years is a good lifespan for a cheap copy!


  7. You know what I really love about these? The copy some folks wrote to get kids interested in the books. This is really good copy! That blurb for “Cousins” has ME wanted to read it, all of a sudden. Well played, random Scholastic employees of the 90s.

    • Ha – yeah, they did a pretty good job generating interest here. Tough to do in one or two sentences.

  8. This is fantastic. I love your comments. Haha, and yes, we still get those fliers in middle school. Gotta love ’em. :)

  9. Miss McGoey would always choose a student to place a date stamp in the “return by” box on the book club forms. It was a sought after honor to yield that date stamper!

  10. For me it would have to be 1962. I can’t even remember the company, could it have been Scholastic? A few years ago I found some of my OLD favorites at a yard sale. Thought I had found a treasure. Still looking for one that took place, I believe, in India. A boy went in search of a lost city. Can’t remember the name of the book.
    Book day was the best!

    • @Jan H. “If you don’t remember anything more than a plot line, ASK A LIBRARIAN. We have finding tools for this purpose, including reference books that are subject catalogs of fiction, both for adults AND for children, which may provide brief summaries and reviews as well.”

  11. Oh wow, I’m pretty sure I ordered from this exact catalogue! I know I ordered about 5 of these books at once, (not to mention some stickers… I only remember this because I remember experiences with books).

  12. DYNAMITE. i loved Dynamite so much.

  13. What struck me first was the diversity of the book characters. Not great by 2016 standards, but better than I remembered.

    Went back and read the copy … Betsy’s right. Well done.