Any Oldsters Out There Who Remember Slam Books?

I remember once trying to explain to my two sons the fads and crazes that were popular back when I was in Junior High school (I guess it’s called middle school now). I attended Junior high which was just 7th and 8th grade in the early 1970s. One of the fads that I recall was Slam Books.

Anyone remember those? I had one and I’m guessing it’s probably still in a box down in my basement somewhere (because I tend to save silly things like that). I was under the impression that Slam Books started sometime in the 60s or 70s but I’ve been told by people older than me that they actually were popular in the 40s and 50s.

In my day, Slam Books were notebooks usually in spiral notebook form or loose leaf notebook paper put into one of the colorful three-pronged paper folders. Mine was in a white paper pronged folder. It had Slam Book written boldly across the front of the folder in a navy blue marker.

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81r5tqEJ42L._SL1500_Slam Books usually had a sign-in page at the beginning. And then on each subsequent page, there was a question. The Slam Book got passed around to anyone who wanted to participate. If you did, you just signed your name on the sign-in sheet and then went through and answered all the questions on the corresponding number that you signed in on. The purpose was to learn things about your fellow classmates.

I guess some Slam Books had a reputation for getting very personal and some could get down right mean (hence the word Slam Book because some tweens/teens literally got slammed in these books). Teachers looked at them as a form of bullying and rightly so, and some banned them from the classroom for that reason.

I remember the Slam Books of my day as being fun and mostly innocent. I don’t recall if guys participated in signing Slam books. I think it was mostly a “girl thing” but guys sure liked to read them. Most of the Slam Books I remembered contained questions like:

What is your favorite song?

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite food?

What is your zodiac sign?

Do you have a current crush?

Who’s your favorite teacher? 

Cutest boy? 

What flavor of lip gloss do you like?  (when I was in the 7th and 8th grade, frosted fruit flavored lip glosses were very popular- I remember writing “Pineapple and strawberry” as my answers).

Favorite teacher?  

Like I said, teachers didn’t like Slam Books. They were a huge distraction in the classroom and teachers would take them up in class if they happened to catch someone passing or signing one. We always passed them around during library time where we usually didn’t get caught.

I remember the raciest questions I ever came across in my day in the Slam Books were usually something along the lines of, Have you ever been kissed?  Or Have you been to second base?  I usually skipped over those. I remember they always left me wondering if these tween girls were really being honest in their answers or if they were perhaps lying a little. If they were telling the truth, then it seemed there was a lot of promiscuity even back then.

Do you remember Slam books?  If so, please share your memories in the comment section if you so desire.  

Gail 

About Gail

I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, veterinarian, and wanna be writer. I love nature and animals of all kinds, music, cooking, and spending time with my family.
This entry was posted in Childhood memories, School and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Any Oldsters Out There Who Remember Slam Books?

  1. Relax... says:

    The first I’ve heard of slam books! I would not have passed mine around — not in junior high!!

    • Gail says:

      Well, mine was empty if that tells you anything! When my mother learned I had made one, she told me she better not hear that I was passing it around! LOL!

  2. DOUGLAS RUTTER says:

    I’m 67 yrs old our junior high “slam books” composed of first page sign up get number put your name in open page than look up someones named and read some nice thing a lot mean stuffed signed by their # example: Doug Rutter’s Page “super jock”#16 ……..”dumb ass owes me 25cents jerk#105 ……. “good body” #98…………”smart” #5

    It was school wide evaluations (massacre) of fellow students

  3. Linda Johnson says:

    Yes! I had 1 or 2 in the 60’s! They were very informative!

  4. Brad Moore says:

    Slam-books were popular when I was a sixth-grader in Tulsa Oklahoma in the 1965-66 school year.

  5. Phyllis says:

    Slam books were very popular back in the late 50’s when I was in junior high school!

    • Leslie Yoder says:

      Me too! The teacher (a nun) caught me and humiliated me BIG TIME! I left the classroom (defiantely) and she followed me out shouting you better come back or I will call the police. I did NOT go back. It was a long way home and my mom told me I had to go back to school. I was very stubborn and strong-willed and I refused and would not budge. Until the next day where I lowered my head and whispered “Sorry.” Oh yeah, on the playground the kids idolized me because I was so brave. : )

  6. Very fun, Gail. Would it be possible to use one of your images in a book I’m writing? The book is called “Blogging on Instagram: Engagement Writing on One of the World’s Best Social Media Platforms.” I’m not sure if there will be room, but in the current draft I mention slam books and found your post when I googled the term. Cheers/Thanks/Terri Nakamura

    • Gail says:

      Hi Terri,
      The two slam book photos I used (the pink slam book photo and the favorite foods list page) were photos I found on Pinterest and so I am not the owner of the photos (sorry). I gave photo credits to the Pinterest.com links where I found them. Good luck with your book!

  7. Maureen says:

    Absolutely remember them ….and remembering getting caught having one …LOL
    Harmless fun but so frowned upon back in the 70’s

  8. LENORA KIMBALL says:

    Hello all you younger Slammers,

    Back in the day ~ early 60’s ~ as a 7th grader in California I had my very own Slam Book. All the girls had them. The sign-in was the same but instead of Numbers, we used Symbols. The questions were pretty dorky & oh so interesting (to 7th & 8th grade girls). The Beach Boys were every girls dream & the A&W car-hop was the only place to go for burgers & a shake! Joseph Kerr Jr. High School, Elk Grove, California was a whole lot like Grease…but without the Greesers! Certainly our loss.

    Our Slam Books were made from the paper, 3 prong brass clip folders. We all employed our 3 ring binder note paper. I remember all the boys very glad to be asked to sign-in. And all we girls were thrilled to have a reason to ligitemately talk to a boy (any boy). Usually we could only look at them & giggle. Young…we were all so young.

    I do not ever remember anyone saying something unpleasant about any one else. Honelstly, those were “happy days”. I’m now 70 years old & still can recall the questions I posed & the answers given. How grateful I am to have stumbled across this “Posted on March 26, 2018 by Gail”. I otherwise would not have had the pleasure of remembering this lovely moment in my life ~ so long ago. I have lived in Vermont for many years now.
    Peace!

    • Gail says:

      Hi Lenora! Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog post. Yes, those were wonderful carefree days, weren’t they? I still remember going to “study” in the library, which is where the slam books would get passed around. I remember it like yesterday and the questions too! Thank you so much for sharing your memories. I am glad this post brought back good happy memories for you.

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