[The Beany Malone series is mentioned in Rebecca Radner's essay discussing the limiting effect on girls of some of the teenage literature written during the nineteen-forties and fifties.]
Recently I became curious about just what in these books exerted such a strong pull on our young imaginations. (p. 789)
The basic elements of this sort of story are simple. The sixteen or seventeen year old heroine meets the right boy and the wrong boy. We can tell them apart instantly, but she can't until the end of the book. While her mother is cooking and cleaning for the family, our heroine goes through an identity crisis, usually brought on by a desire to impress the wrong boy. This leads to a...
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