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Books from back in the day

April 14, 2010 - Cindy Votruba
When I look for books at the Goodwill, the library book sale or that rare garage sale, I sometimes will gravitate toward the young adult, or teen novels that were written in the 1940s, 1950s or early 1960s. I don’t know what it is reading about those halycon days of young love when a girl hoped to “go steady” with that one special boy, kids hung out at the malt shop and authors used a lot of description to set the scene or talk about one of the characters.

Some of those better known books include “Jean and Johnny” and “Fifteen” by Beverly Cleary. I still have both copies. “Jean and Johnny” is about a 15-year-old girl named Jean, who’s a little awkward and wears glasses, but she has the biggest crush on Johnny, the most unobtainable guy. In “Fifteen,” a girl named Jane just wants to meet a boy, any boy and ends up finding one while babysitting.

But then there’s ones by Rosamund Du Jardin, the “Wait for Marcy” series. I only have the first one; would have to search high and low for others. Maureen Daly has “Seventeenth Summer.” But once in a while, I’ll find other books, ones that were 35 cents new back in the day. I don’t know what it is that I like about reading books that took place when my parents were in high school or earlier, but I still find myself buying them.


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