November 30, 2014

Fancy Free by Betty Cavanna (1961)


Some fancies dissolve in thin air ...

Frivolous Francesca Jones decides on impulse to go with her archaeologist father to Peru for the summer.  Dr. Jones is taking a group of students on an expedition high in the Andes. Fancy begins to regret her decision as soon as she meets all these studious types, but by then the plane is in the air.

Used to a kind of lazy life, Fancy, once in Peru, is amazed to find her mind stretching along with her muscles, as she learns the difference between a boy with charm and a boy with character; the care and feeding of a baby llama; and how not only to get along with eggheads, but to like them!  (from the back cover)

November 29, 2014

Angel on Skis by Betty Cavanna (1957)

Angela gazed down at the powdery new snow with a rising sense of anticipation.  Frost had turned its surface into crystals that glittered in the sun like sequins. She knew exactly the light swishing sound her skis would make as they lifted it in a sparkling cloud. This was her world--a white world of snow and speed and excitement. But to enter it, Angela had traveled a hard road.

When her mother moved to Vermont to support the family by running a guesthouse for skiers, Angela knew there wasn't a penny to spare for buying skis. But that did not lessen her almost fanatic determination to learn to ski. How she really did learn is a major theme of this novel. Because the author is intimately acquainted with skiing techniques, it is completely authentic. Because she knows so well how to re-create the breathless wonder of the ski slopes, it is enchanting. But that is not all. Miss Cavanna's story is warm with the glow of happy family life, and shining with romance; for the ski trails lead Angela to the glory of first love. (from the inside flap)

November 28, 2014

6 on Easy Street by Betty Cavanna (1954)

The Sanford family of Haverford has inherited a small inn in Nantucket.  All of the family except sixteen-year-old Deborah are excited over the prospect of a summer spent in learning how to run the inn.  Deborah is in love--and she is unhappy about leaving attractive Craig Vale for the whole summer.

Each of the children has a job to do in the old inn, and Deborah waits on table. Her main ambition is to get enough money to visit Craig in July for a week at the shore in Jersey.  Very few of the guests leave tips, however, and she is forced to work out a different scheme for saving the money she needs.

How Deborah faces her problems during this summer is woven into a story of how a girl grows up.  While it is difficult for her to overcome her selfishness and face the need for becoming mature, Deborah finds by the time the summer is over that her stay in Nantucket has turned out to be one of the happiest times of her life.

There is good characterization in this story, and a delightful picture of a family who know how to live together in heartwarming comradeship.  There are glimpses into the thoughts and feelings of this family and their friends which are genuinely true to life, and bring the reader into acquaintance with real people.  And there is the authentic background of Nantucket to add extra interest, zest and color to the story. (from the inside flap)

November 27, 2014

The Look of Love by Denise Cass Brookman (1960)

Candy was Kirk Stock's girl, and to be Kirk's girl was to be admired and respected--even envied.  For he was a letterman in football, president of the Senior Council, a good mixer, a good dancer and the most popular boy at Ryder High School.  Although they had similar tastes and backgrounds Candy found, oddly enough, that they had little to say to one another when they were alone.  All their friends shared the same comfortable standards and all of them conformed to the same safe, snug pattern that sometimes seemed to stifle Candy.

She had an indefinable yearning to find her own sense of values, and it was this quality that Joe Czierwotni recognized.  Joe's world was different.  Experience had made him realistic and truculent, but he was attracted to Candy even though common sense told him that he was remote from her life and therefore all wrong for her.  But the moment was right, and--feeling that she had everything, yet nothing--Candy was drawn to him regardless of her family's concern.

In this new junior novel about two people who are different--yet somehow the same--the author of The Tender Time introduces a sensitive, levelheaded young heroine who tries her own wings for the first time.  (from the inside flap)

November 25, 2014

Say Hello, Candy by Bianca Bradbury (1961)

Candy didn't start out by saying hello.  In fact, she felt she was saying goodby to everything; to the only home she'd ever know, to all her friends, and most of all, to Tom.

For Candy the world had stopped turning and the bottom had dropped out of life.  Here she was heading for Maine with Mom and Dad.

They had often spent summers in Maine, but this was for keeps.  Ever since Dad's accident, which confined him to a wheel chair, money had become a problem for the Andrews' family.  They were trying to solve the problem by moving to the house they owned in a small Maine town.

But loneliness can be deeply rooted in a teen-age girl, and Candy was not to be thawed by the friendliness and sympathy of a small town. She was there, all right, but she didn't have to like it!

Bianca Bradbury has written a deeply understanding story of loneliness, and a young girl's growing up.  Every reader will understand Candy's search, and will share her glow when "that certain boy" comes into her life.  (from the inside flap)

Christy by Carole Bolton (1960)

When the doorbell rang, Christy was wearing faded jeans and big fat curlers in her hair.  She was in absolutely no condition to meet her fate, but here he was, standing at her door.  Gideon Myles was a successful writer; he was dashing and glamorous--and he was almost as old as her father.  But he made her feel as though she had passed from one room to another, where a blue light was burning instead of the pink one she had left behind.

Christy soon became caught between her teen-age world and an impossible dream.  She found herself saying catty things about Julie, the thirty-year-old librarian who had always been dear to her--until Gideon's arrival.  She quarreled with Frank, a wonderfully solemn student of archaeology, whom she denounced as a callow youth.  And she learned, finally, that even when love goes away, its sad, sweet poignancy remains.

Christy's efforts to win Gideon are sometimes childish and absurd, sometimes agelessly feminine.  In this delightful book, which introduces a fresh new writing talent, Carole Bolton describes them with a keen awareness of the rue and humor and touching reality of love at sixteen.  (from the inside flap)

Meet Me in St. Louis by Sally Benson (1941)

"Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair ..."

St. Louis--at the turn of the century, back in the age of innocence, when a date was called an engagement, a wolf was a lady-fusser, a long-distance phone call set the whole town talking, and the St. Louis World's Fair was the most glorious, exciting, glamorous thing that ever happened in the whole, wild world!

Here is the delightful, funny and wonderfully real story of the two pretty Smith girls, Rose and Esther, their beaux and romances, their troublesome small sisters, their young brother, Lon, a "Princeton man," and their nice parents, just as bewildered and bewildering as parents today. (from the back cover)