Betty Cavanna Dwight L. Burton - Essay

Dwight L. Burton

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Books by Betty Cavanna have been among the most popular with young high school readers. Her principal characters are adolescent girls, her setting is the environs of Philadelphia, and her theme usually is the struggle of an adolescent girl to gain self-confidence. Of her five or six novels, one, Going on Sixteen, is noteworthy. The others are neither better nor worse than the dozens of innocuous girls' stories which have flowed from the press in recent years.

Going on Sixteen is compounded of the humdrum in adolescent life. It rests upon its genuineness and sincerity rather than upon melodrama. Julie, the heroine, is a somewhat shy, nondescript girl who lives on a farm with her father...

(The entire section is 480 words.)