90s Paperbacks Kimmy Schmidt Would Love

Posted by Danielle Mohlman

Photo by Stas Knop from Pexels

The new season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is here and we are so excited to see what Tina Fey and the rest of the writing team have in store for us. In between seasons, we spend a lot of time thinking about what Kimmy’s reading and recommending. This time around, we’re building a bunker friendly reading list for our quirky heroine – filled with dragons, apocalypse fiction, missing people, and survival manuals. Because reading the same Baby-Sitters Club Book over and over again can get old fast.


[source: Scholastic]

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (1990)

Kimmy is sure to relate to Princess Cimorene and her servitude to her dragon Kazul. As the first of a fiercely feminist series, Dealing with Dragons sets in motion an epic tale that challenges gender roles and the limits of reality. It explores courage, honor, and the magic we each hold inside ourselves. It’s an escapist novel perfect for any bunker-bound '90s girl.


[source: Ember]

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney (1990) 

When Kimmy Schmidt went missing, her face was likely plastered on milk cartons across Indiana. So, it’ll come as no surprise that we’re throwing The Face on the Milk Carton into the bunker. It’s the story of Janie Johnson, a 15-year-old who just discovered that the family who raised her – who loved her all these years – isn’t her family at all. In fact, she was kidnapped when she was three years old. Kimmy Schmidt can relate, for sure.


[source: Laurel-Leaf]

The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993) 

The story of a dystopian society without color will look a little familiar to Kimmy. Those bland bunker walls don’t leave room for imagination. And let’s face it, the reverend is anything but all-knowing. The Giver is perfect reading material to pass the long days and nights and what season even is it right now? The novel tracks a society living without pain, fear, war, or hatred. And while that’s all well and good on the service, something sinister lurks beneath. The Giver is even more thrilling when read aloud, making it perfect for spooky post-lights out story time.


[source: Scholastic]

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (1994) 

While Walk Two Moons doesn’t reflect Kimmy’s life or her family dynamic, she’s sure to find solace in this touching and inventive story about grief, love, and Native American identity. While the bunker has no windows, Kimmy can easily daydream about the rich American landscape that protagonist Salamanca and her family travel through on their road trip from Ohio to Idaho. And who knows – maybe Kimmy will pick up some storytelling tips from the headstrong narrator and weave her own tales.


[source: Roberts Rinehart]

Willy Whitefeather’s Outdoor Survival Manual for Kids (1991) 

Despite being stuck inside the bunker, Kimmy could have benefited from the popular 90s survival guide Willy Whitefeather’s Outdoor Survival Manual for Kids. The book, targeted towards children as young as six years old, offers practical survival skills for everything from treating bee stings to assembling an overnight shelter. In addition to outlining survival skills for children of all ages, Whitefeather, a native Cherokee, donates a portion of the book’s proceeds to disadvantaged Native American children. We like to imagine this book would give Kimmy the courage to break out of the bunker. Take that, Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne!