Janet Lambert

Janet Lambert predates the fifties teen romance novel by a few years; her first novel was published in 1941. With war as a dramatic background, her two main series focus on two sprawling army families (the Jordons and the Parrishes) who repeatedly and complicatedly intertwine through marriage.

From the About the Author jacket copy on Candy Kane (1943):
Janet Lambert, author of the delightful Penny Parrish and Candy Kane books and creator of Just Jenifer and other stories, was born and brought up in Crawfordsville, long known as the Athens of Indiana and a town still proud of the number of authors it produces.
Long interested in both the theatre and in writing, Janet Lambert effected a happy compromise by early deciding to become an actress and to write her own plays. During her acting career, she achieved her dream of playing with Walker Whiteside and appeared on Broadway.
Marriage to the boy from back home, Colonel Lambert--then a captain--put an end to her stage career. It was then that she turned again to writing, this time creating the stories for her daughter that would soon endear her to a much larger audience. The backgrounds of many of Mrs. Lambert's stories are the various Army posts across the country which she came to know so well as an Army wife.
Janet Lambert's characters--from Candy and Jenifer to Penny and all the rest--are a captivating group, with the natural, irrepressible vitality of teen-agers, plus their usual complement of problems, surprises and romance. And it is a happy discovery to find that you can follow their lives from one entertaining book to the next.
The Lamberts, now that Colonel Lambert has retired from the Army, live on an island off the coast of New Jersey.
The below series are my very favorites among her many books.

Since her Parrish/Jordon family novels interweave between families, the amazing people at Image Cascade--who republish "heart warming timeless stories from the Malt Shop Era"--have created a chronological reading list.

Parrish/Jordon Family Reading List
1. Star-Spangled Summer (Penny)
2. Dreams of Glory (Penny)
3. Glory Be! (Penny)
4. Up Goes the Curtain (Penny)
5. Practically Perfect (Penny)
6. Just Jenifer (Jordon)
7. Friday's Child (Jordon)
8. Miss Tippy (Tippy and Jordon)
9. Little Miss Atlas (Tippy)
10. The Reluctant Heart (Penny)
11. Confusion by Cupid (Jordon)
12. Miss America (Tippy and Jordon)
13. Don't Cry Little Girl (Tippy and Jordon)
14. Rainbow after Rain (Tippy)
15. Welcome Home, Mrs. Jordon (Tippy)
16. A Dream for Susan (Jordon-Susan)
17. Love Taps Gently (Jordon-Susan)
18. A Song in Their Hearts (Tippy)
19. Myself and I (Jordon-Susan)
20. The Stars Hang High (Jordon-Susan & Bitsy)
21. Wedding Bells (Jordon-Susan & Bitsy)
22. Introducing Parri (Penny's daughter Parri)
23. That's My Girl (Parri)
24. A Bright Tomorrow (Jordon-Bitsy)
25. Stagestruck Parri (Parri)
26. My Davy (Parri & David Parrish, Jr.)
27. Here's Marny (Tippy)

And to make things even MORE confusing, many of these novels were published lockets and numbers on the spines. Thanks to Schoolgirl Shamus for puzzling out the numbering, although, as she writes: "You will notice that some of the numbering is out of order; for instance, Up Goes the Curtain happens before Practically Perfect, but for whatever reason, is numbered later. This happens with books in the Jordon series as well." So that's confusing!

In Locket Order:
#1 - Star Spangled Summer, 1941 (Penny)
#2 - Dreams of Glory, 1942 (Penny)
#3 - Glory Be!, 1943 (Penny)
#4 - Candy Kane, 1943 (Candy)
#5 - Whoa, Matilda, 1944 (Candy)
#6 - Just Jenifer, 1945 (Jordon)
#7 - Practically Perfect, 1947 (Penny)
#8 - Friday's Child, 1947 (Jordon)
#9 - Up Goes the Curtain, 1946 (Jordon)
#10 - One for the Money, 1946 (Candy)
#11 - Where the Heart Is, 1948 (Christie Drayton)
#12 - Miss Tippy, 1948 (Tippy)
#13 - Treasure Trouble, 1949 (Christie Drayton) (Janet Lambert's only mystery)
#14 - Little Miss Atlas, 1949 (Tippy)
#15 - Confusion by Cupid, 1950 (Jordon)
#17 - The Reluctant Heart, 1950 (Jordon)
#18 - Star Dream, 1951 (Dria Meredith)
#19 - Myself & I, 1957 (Jordon)
#20 - Cinda Hollister, 1954 (Cinda Hollister)
#21 - Miss America, 1951 (Tippy)
#22 - Dream for Susan, 1954 (Jordon)
#23 - Don't Cry Little Girl, 1952 (Tippy)
#24 - Summer for Seven, 1952 (Dria Meredith)
#25 - Rainbow After Rain, 1953 (Tippy)
#26 - Love Taps Gently, 1955 (Jordon)

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