Friday, November 21, 2008

Dear Beany

I've long been on an email list about the books of Lenora Mattingly Weber. These were girls' series books written in the 1940s-1970s. The most popular series is Beany Malone, although there's also a series about Katie Rose and Stacy Belford, as well as a couple non-series books.

For years the books were almost impossible to find outside library sales and the occasional used book store, but then a wonderful publisher called Image Cascade reprinted them all. We list members helped out as copy editors, comparing the reprints to the originals and making sure there weren't changes, and I believe we received our choice of a free book for each book we proofread. And our group's trivia quiz is here, if you think you know the LMW books well and want to test your knowledge.

Image Cascade's site is may find some other series from your childhood. Nurse Sue Barton, anyone? Tobey and Midge Heydon? Penny Parrish?

There's a quaint comfort to these old books. They're about as far from Gossip Girl as you can get, yet the characters feel much more well-rounded and real to me than the saccharine cutouts of, say, Sweet Valley High.

And the other people who read them are pretty cool, too.


Anonymous said...

I love the LMW books but I've never met anyone else who read them.

lizbethsa said...

OMG.... I loved, loved, loved Beany Malone when I was a little girl! :)

Anonymous said...

OMG. Someone else on earth has heard of Katie Rose! I could have sworn I was the only human being on the planet who read any of those!

Sadly, our tiny local library doesn't seem to have them. Maybe next time I visit my parents, I'll see if they are in that library.