The Unchosen is our protagonist Ellen’s description of her group of close friends. One is the “not too attractive” brain, named Kay and the other is Debbie who isn’t much for good grades and is sporting an extra 10 pounds or as our protagonist calls her “a big doll with flaxen hair”. All three young ladies seem to have missed the boat with the cool kids. They are desperate to become one of the “in” crowd and are ready to make a plan! They have ideas ranging from making a list of suitable potential boyfriends to strategically get themselves into the popular crowd. You can guess there is a mixed bag of results, some are cringe-worthy.
I actually think with my light skimming this was a little more substantive since than the typical teen angst of this period. Although this book was outdated for my 1970s teen years, I still would have read it. (In fact I might have, since a lot of this book feels familiar.)
Does it have a place in a modern teen collection? Probably not. It might work with some modern teens, if you give them a good sell. I also think those readers my age and older might get a kick out of this little period piece from our collective past.
Make the Team in Ice Hockey
Hockey materials are almost a requirement for public libraries (at least in this neck of the woods). They circ well and instruction books like this are often hot items for both the players and adult coaches. This particular book, though, is so dated that it probably should have been weeded a long time ago. When I weeded this item, it had not gone out in about 5 years, while similar titles that were newer circulated well.
For the time period, this book is pretty comprehensive. The text is a bit dense and it is probably geared to middle school age or older. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of sports would recognize that when players are pictured with no helmets or modern safety gear, it is a weeding candidate.
Time to put this one in that great penalty box in the sky.
Brainwashing is a Cinch!
Of course I am interested in any book that would allow me to bend people to my will. (The longer I am in this profession, I realize that I really want to be a librarian dictator.) Our author defines brainwashing as substituting one belief for another. By using the power of suggestion and saying things a bit differently, you can control the people around you. Sure. Whatever.
However, the second half of the book is crazy on a whole new level. Our guy has a bunch of ideas and he is here to educate us all on the American way of life. Evidently, the poor, minorities, and women aren’t understanding how much good white men do for them. We have been brainwashed into thinking that there is a problem in how the American way of life works.
Take a look at some of the text. Poverty is a good teacher and an “honorable way of life.” Evidently, poor people and minorities are not appreciative enough of the concept of opportunity. He doesn’t stop at poverty and racism, there is also another diatribe on how women have “lost ground.” The ladies need to appreciate that the men are the ones that teach them and provide for them. Men should be the breadwinner and women keep house. Note his letter to the ladies about their greed and other failings. Even violence on the street is the fault of these mothers. (How can men respect them when they do this?)
I will be in the back, weeping for humanity, once again.