December 16, 2014

Green Eyes by Jean Nielsen (1955)

When Jan Morgan achieves the goal her heart is set on, being editor of the high school Argus, she nearly loses it by being "immature." It's true that she's a little younger than her classmates, and somehow has taken longer to grow up, but that isn't Jan's only problem. The other thing that bothers her is her family, in which she feels that her mother and her spoiled younger brother treat her like an unwanted outsider. But in her senior year Jan learns to trade "immature" loneliness and envy for responsibility and happiness, and she learns it mainly through her work on the Argus, which helps her begin to appreciate people: Dotty and Cassie, for instance, who show her that pretty girls aren't always unfriendly and superior; Mr. Larsen, who believes in her abilities; and Mrs. Abbott, who gives her a new philosophy and a hairdo to match.

Among all the friendly, warm-hearted people of Cascadeville, there are two who in very different ways become most important to Jan. Pete, the old town printer, conceals his affection for his new "assistant" beneath an acide wit, but his conviction that Jan will become a charming as well as an intelligent woman means even more to her than what he has to teach about newspapering. And there is Danny Mallory, the new boy in town, who turns out to be as much of a newspaper whiz as Jan herself, and with whom she has first a warm friendship, then a bitter rivalry.

The school year flies by faster than any year has ever gone for Jan, because it is filled to overflowing with fun and trouble. The happy school-bus trip to Seattle is followed by a miserable Christmas; the quarantine of which Jan is the heroine means that Danny is getting out the Argus much too well by himself; and the Valentine's Day excursion to Barren Mountain ends in a near-tragedy. But through it all Jan gradually becomes part of the community and of her family. She learns that printing the news is a responsibility as well as an exciting career, and decides once as for all that green-with-envy eyes can't see the full of life--that she is much better off to keep hers blue. She discovers, too, what depth of character underlies Danny Mallory's casual humor, and as this helps her get over her fear of boys and dates and parties, Jan's renewed friendship with him begins to deepen into something very special for them both. (from the inside flap)

No comments:

Post a Comment