Finding Sweet Valley High

Finding Sweet Valley High


If you know anything about me, you know that I was a huge, I’m talking huge fan of the Sweet Valley High series (And of course TBSC, you know what that stands for, if you read that series too) during my elementary and junior reading days. And as much as I loved the series, the book covers are so iconic to me and I will never be able to forget them. They’re so recognizable! 

So recently, I came across a blog post that spoke about the illustrator, James L. Mathewuse, who created over 250 over paintings for the covers. (The one above I believe is Enid suffering from a car crash injuries, I think. . .). James even has a website and where I discovered he also did the covers for Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and more! Makes so much sense now (since I was a Nancy Drew fan too)! The man behind Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, just too good!




Oh Francine Pascal, what you gave to the world! I also love how the covers had a single plot summary sentence on each cover:
Elizabeth is ready for a change! Is Jessica about to get her big break? Will Jade Wu have to defy her father to get what she wants?

It gets better. . . this same blog post I was reading decided to hunt down the 80s actress of which the illustrations of Jessica and Elizabeth were modeled after–and they found her! Ms. Jonna Leigh Stack! The spitting image of Jessica/Elizabeth, er, I mean, the other way around I suppose?




I love these black and white shots. They’re so Glamor Shots, it’s great. And those full, untrimmed eyebrows, sigh. You have no idea how much stumbling across all this SVH intel made my week, and maybe even my October month. Any favorite childhood series you distinctly remember the covers and hold a special place in your heart?

Cover art imagery from James’ website. And all images of Ms. Stack found here.

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