The Amethyst Summer by Bianca Bradbury (1963)

How do you manage a big house, keep three brothers and your father properly nourished when they all seem to have hollow legs, and have a life of your own if you're sixteen years old and inexperienced to say the least? How do you make it clear to your brothers and their friends that you no longer intend to be the pal who is always ready to catch a ball, hold a wrench, and generally make yourself agreeable and useful as a chum? That, in fact, you intend to try for a more glamourous role in their lives? And how do you do the friendly and neighborly thing for an interesting but diffident refugee family that moves in next door?

All of these problems confronted Bayley because her mother had to leave her family one summer to take care of an ailing relative. Bayley rather lightly undertook to fill her place but almost immediately realized she was over her head. After a pretty grim start, however, she began to learn how to manage a house, serve an acceptable meal, and get her social life oriented toward dating rather than just being a good scout.

An excellent story for older girls, told with understanding and humor, about one of the most important facets of growing up. (from the inside flap)

Love Taps Gently by Janet Lambert (1955)

Charming, lovable Susan Jordon, whose longing for a home was happily satisfied in A Dream for Susan, is now sixteen and even better able to cope with the disturbing family crises which develop so unexpectedly. The manner in which Susan and the Jordon family as a whole, meet these crises, forms the plot of this appealing story.

The Jordons' life at Gladstone Gates has settled into a happy routine. Neal, Susan's twin, and young Vance are working for the summer on the Parrishs' estate. Although General Jordon, now a business executive rather than an Army officer, is disturbed by his erratic step-daughter Gwenn's threat to sue him for mismanagement of her inheritance, he is trying to keep the three younger children from knowing of the unpleasant development. With everyone apparently happy, Susan is enjoying a mild flirtation with her other half-sister Alice's young brother-in-law, Keith Drayton. Keith proves a source of constant irritation to Bobby Parrish, whose career as an Army Lieutenant has done little to dampen his light-hearted exuberance. As far as he is concerned, Susan is his property, and his attitude is causing Susan some uneasiness. All of the Jordons miss the youngest daughter, Bitsy, who for five years has been living in England with her oldest sister, Jennifer and her husband, Cyril, Lord Carlington.

When suddenly Bitsy returns to America, a cold, self-centered thirteen-year-old; and when Gwenn explodes on the family unexpectedly and collapses into a serious illness, the Jordons find that both problems can be solved with gentle understanding and love. Bobby Parrish surprises everyone by his own surprising contribution and even Bitsy comes to realize that love is a gentle giving, rather than an insistent demand.

Readers who are meeting the Jordons for the first time will be enchanted with this delightful family. Those to whom the Jordons are old friends, will be gratified that Susan's summer ends happily, after all! (from the inside flap)

Junior Miss by Sally Benson (1939)

Reflection in a Million Mirrors

She's tall for her twelve years, and heavily built. From her shoulders to her knees she is entirely shapeless, and below her skirt, which is too short for her, her legs are hard and covered with scratches. She wears a sloppy sweater, two charm bracelets of a brassy color, and a locket and chain that fastens so tightly around her neck it seems it might throttle her. In the locket is a rather dim snapshot of a kitten and a clear picture of Tyrone Power, clipped from a movie magazine. She's outgrown her devotion to Tyrone Power, but she still gets a lump in her throat when she remembers the kitten, whose name was Bilgy. She has also outgrown toys at Christmas, but there's something empty about Christmas Day in spite of the jade green lounging pajamas and the silk stockings. She's the girl you loved in the stage and screen plays based on this book, and she personifies all the naive realities and sophisticated fantasies of the in-between years. (from the back cover)

Editorial Comment: Could this be a LESS enticing description? Also, I love the note on the back of the Pocket edition: Share this book with someone in uniform. I'm sure they'll love it!

Marty by Elisa Bialk (1953)

Marty felt sick as she faced her city editor. "I'll know better next time," she promised.

"There won't be a next time." The editor's cold blue eyes swept Marty's face. "You're fired. I told you being young wasn't going to excuse you when I hired you. I gave you a chance and you've muffed it. I just can't keep you on as a reporter."

Marty, her face burning, turned away from the desk. There was a such thing as pride ... (from the back cover)

Marty on the Campus by Elisa Bialk (?)

Marty leaned back and tried to relax. So this was her blind date--as extremely blind as one could get! Yet she felt an unexpected flow of triumph: Brad Lane had actually volunteered to come along on the date. Was he such a woman-hater as he liked others to believe?

H'mmm--maybe she'd have to find out for herself! (from the back cover)

Beany Has a Secret Life by Lenora Mattingly Weber (1955)

Beany Has A Secret Life

and it revolves around a very "hush-hush" new club. When invited to become one of the privileged few members, Beany is enthralled--life had been looking very down, with her favorite date going to college halfway across the country, and her father, newspaperman Marty Malone, springing a new stepmother on the family, to mention but two of Beany's current problems.

However, before many weeks have passed, the club has added to the complications in Beany's life; she's quarreled with Adair, her pretty stepmother; and, in fact, things have gone from Bad to Worse to Dreadful.

But to quote one enthusiastic reviewer, the untangling of this very snarled situation "makes a thoroughly absorbing story...Beany fans are in for a treat!" (from the back cover)

Always Anne by Holly Wilson (1957)

Anne Fraser longed to emulate Glory Hoffman, the most popular girl in high school, for Glory was everything Anne wanted to be--gleaming and goldenly beautiful, popular with the boys, always gay and self-possessed, and a leading spirit in the most important group in high school. When Glory suddenly offered Anne her friendship, she was overjoyed and refused to listen to Claire Durand's frank criticism of Glory and her motives. Anne loved her best friend Claire, but she idolized Glory.

At the Sophomore Dance, wearing her first formal, Anne felt sophisticated and happy to be one of Glory's crowd, though she knew deep down that her present popularity was a reflection of Glory's shining orbit. When Tom Magoon, attractive literary editor of The Blue Pencil, danced with her and then asked for a date without any scheming or maneuvering on her part, she felt she was really beginning to live. They began dating regularly, and Anne found that with him she could be quite independent in her ideas and opinions, and this gave her confidence in her own judgment.

As Anne gradually learned the means Glory employed to maintain her popularity, she realized what a shallow, shoddy thing it was. But it was through Glory's final horrifying downfall that Anne rediscovered the fact that in building a good life, what counted most was the way you left about yourself, and that in friendship--even love--you needed to be natural and not a pretender.

Because girls will identify themselves with Anne's gradual rejection of the false and her acceptance of new values and standards, they will love this deeply probing story of Anne's emotional growing up. (from the inside flap)