Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dowdy-world miracle

Beverly Cleary, Fifteen (1956).

Elaine read and reread Fifteen when she was eleven. She says it taught her everything she knew about being a teenager. (She adds that her teenaged years were quite different from Jane Purdy’s.) Elaine borrowed the book from the library last week; I ended up reading it straight through in a day. She told me I would like it. Yes, it’s wonderful.

Unlike Walt Whitman, I’m not certain that I contain “multitudes.” But there must be a fifteen-year-old girl in there somewhere.

11:22 a.m.: In 2011, Daughter Number Three wrote about Fifteen and cultural mores.

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comments: 6

Daughter Number Three said...

Ah, Fifteen! You may have already read it, but here's my post about it from a few years back: http://daughternumberthree.blogspot.com/2011/09/fifteen-and-1956.html

Daughter Number Three said...

Oops, of course you read it... we had that whole discussion about the subjunctive.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, though I have to admit that I didn’t remember reading your post (or commenting). I think it helps to read this book in an old edition. We have a 1956 hardcover with great line art. Reading this book with more up-to-date art wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable.

I had a similar thought about “flied lice” — Stan’s rejoinder is perfect. And add to that his easy conversation with the waiter, his high-school pal.

Daughter Number Three said...

I agree on reading the old edition, especially when you look at the covers that have been forced upon the unsuspecting book since then.

Berit said...

...is the heroine also So Embarrassed by her dad's "joking" in the form of quoting along the lines of "...the fog comes in on little cat feet.."???

Does she also append to her beau's name the courtesy title "The Nicest Boy in the World"? (Very Dowdy-World!)

If so, I also read it in the 90s as a child, though the title and Cleary as its author ring no bells in my memory.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, her Pop makes a joke about needing a cat who comes in on little fog feet.

I don’t think it’s a title, exactly (no caps), but yes, that’s Stan, the nicest boy in the world.