A 30-something's lovingly sarcastic journey through all of Sweet Valley High, and then some

Archive for November, 2017

Sweet Valley High Fan Club: The Oracle newsletter, Volume I (circa 1993/4)

I want to thank reader Jen L. for very kindly sending me these awesome images of Volume I of The Oracle newsletter, along with some other photo goodies! Of course, The Oracle was the name of the famous SVH school newspaper, where new staffers mysteriously appear whenever it’s convenient to the plot … and also became the name of the free newsletter that members of the Sweet Valley High Fan Club got back in the day. Let’s take a look at this first issue …

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The front page!

Okay, first of all, no surprise to see Elizabeth has written the welcome letter. She invites readers to submit their own writing for publication. Anyone ever gotten published in a future issue of The Oracle? Next, this newsletter directs readers to pick up Teacher Crush to see how Olivia D. handled crushing on her art teacher. Oh yeah, and Olivia handled it real well! Of course, if I were working at Bantam back in the day I would have suggested readers see how Suzanne Devlin “handled” it instead by picking up Too Good to Be True. Handled Mr. Collins, you know what I’m sayin’? LOL!

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Page 2 invites you to learn the twins’ secret language which involves sticking the letters “ithig” in the middle of each syllable of each word. You know something, I swear to god that Bantam promoted this funky language all over the place back in the day. It debuted in a Sweet Valley Twins book, Keeping Secrets, in the 1980s and then I think they talked about it again in the SVT Super Summer Book (which I have on a shelf in another room but am way too lazy to just go get up and pull out).

The “Personal Profiles” feature gives facts about Lila Fowler, with the pretty picture of her from her Super Star book. It doesn’t tell us anything about her that we don’t already know, including her favorite ice cream flavor, which we recently learned is Million Dollar Mocha, and that her answer to who her boyfriend is, is “I play the field!” (P.S. I just randomly googled Million Dollar Mocha. It is now the name of a CoverGirl lip shade.)

Next up, a recipe section called “Treats for the Sweet” (huh? random). This issue’s recipe is called “Crispy Dogs” and I’m betting that sounds kinda nasty to some of you! This is supposed to be a snack that Liz and Jess like to make for their friends. It’s basically cut-up hot dogs, coated in a mustard-water mixture and rolled in crushed tortilla chips and then baked in the oven. Is this how these girls keep their “perfect size 6 figures”? You know something, this recipe sounds fucking delicious and I am going to make it. I deserve Crispy Dogs. Don’t judge me.

Then we have this brilliant quote from Todd where he talks about what he likes in a girl, which is basically that the girl be herself. Oh, bullshit, Todd. He says that’s why he likes Liz so much. LOL. Only every time Liz stands up for herself, Todd gets mad! Makes sense!

This page closes with a little feature that looks to be Jessica W.’s monthly fashion column, Eye for Fashion. Jessica’s tip is for you to collect old earrings from your mom, big sister, etc. and use them to “jazz up” your boring clothes. She suggests that you put the clip-on earrings on the lapel of your jacket, wear the stud earrings as pins, and hang dangling earrings on the front of your jacket. Hmmmmm. This could be cute on a denim jacket if done carefully, or ya know, it could wind up looking like a horror show.


On to page 3! It’s kicked off with a Sweet Valley pop quiz, which has questions from the SVT and Sweet Valley Kids series, too. If you get them all right, you’re voted “most intelligent.” If you only get one right, you’re a freshman who has “been spending too much time at the beach” and needs to “read as many Sweet Valley Books as you can.” Get out those wallets, kids!

Probably the longest article in the entire newsletter urges “Sweet Valley Fans Unite!” It tells you how to start your own SVH fan club and urges you to send in photos and details of your club. Get it going, y’all. I’ll bring the Jungle Prom Punch.

Finally, there’s the Super Silly Storyteller which is essentially SVH’s version of Mad Libs, only way more boring unless you want to make it Dirty Mad Libs and fill in filthy words like some of us may have when we were kids. 🙂


The newsletter closes with an interview with Francine Pascal, of course. She promotes the upcoming TV show, and talks about other books she wrote that her kids inspired.

Oh yes, and we have a Sweet Valley High products order form where you can order goodies like a fan club T-shirt, club stationery, club secret treasure box, and club pencil. I think these were all things that came with the original fan club shipments. Speaking of which … here’s the stationery and the treasure box!


OK, that stationery actually looks pretty rad. I wanna take that to a business meeting and just sit down and nonchalantly take notes on it.

Here are some more SVH items from Jen’s collection that you may recall …


Dangerous Love jigsaw puzzle by Milton Bradley! You can pretend you’re reconstructing Liz’s brain!



Promo tote from the short-lived SVH reboot


Bookshelf of goodies – I so wish my collection looked this organized

Lastly, Jen sent these pictures of the SVH map with the SVH dolls prominently featured.


Wow, so everything is literally just steps away from everything else, the ocean is in the twins’ backyard, and there’s a snowcapped mountain ski chalet overlooking the perfect little beach. Hmmmm … where’s the Shady Lady, and Betsy Martin’s trash-strewn neighborhood?

Notice that each area on the map has a corresponding set of doll outfits that are supposed to go with it … Born to Shop goes with the mall, etc.

Here are lots of close-ups of the map.


I want to tell Jen thanks again for sending me all of these photos so I could post them for your enjoyment!

Available for pre-order: The new SVH graphic novel series!

Update 2/2018: The release date is now March 2019! (if you believe one of the Amazon listings below … the other has disappeared.)

Guess what’s available for pre-order on Amazon.com? The new Sweet Valley High graphic novel! Remember when I told you guys about this a while back? I’ve found two different 2018 release dates for it: April 24 for the library binding, and October 30 for the paperback version. Hmmm. If I had to guess, those dates will continue to change. Looks like the book is going to be 120 pages long. And, here’s the synopsis I pulled off Amazon:

When Jessica falls in love with her Shakespeare teacher, she begins to act like her studious twin sister Elizabeth to impress him. Now it’s up to Elizabeth to make sure that all’s well that end well – but with Jessica playing her role, will anyone be able to tell which twin is which.

Sounds typical! But will the Shakespeare teacher be Mr. Collins, I take it?! Is Jessica going to pull a Suzanne Devlin?!

I note that for whatever reason, getting information on this series seems unusually difficult. Remember all the fan-fare around the 2008 reboot of the series, and then later around Sweet Valley Confidential and The Sweet Life? It makes me wonder how involved with this particular project Francine is. She is not credited as the creator or anything on the Amazon page, and she hasn’t promoted it at all on her public Facebook or Twitter posts. *shrug* Maybe it’s too early for all that.

Here are the links to the Amazon.com pages:

Paperback copy

Library binding



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