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Talkin ‘Bout My Generation

ALB’s wonderful Young Adult Collection

Party’s Over

party book cover betty betz

The Betty Betz Party Book: The Teen-Age Guide to Social Success
Betz
1947

Submitter: After thumbing through this book, I understood why our library has held on to it all these years. It’s absolutely essential for all teenagers who are preparing to throw a swell shindig like the ones Betty Betz describes. She instructs teenagers on such topics as:

– What to wear. (“Always be sure that your dresses are at least an inch or so below the knee, because it’s always embarrassing to have a few cards wisecracking about your peekaboo knees.”)

– Who to invite. (“If you have singles, be sure that they can be paired off suitably. And don’t forget to consider such things as height, looks and IQ.”)

– What food to serve. (“Exotic foods are fine if your friends are making a point of going to an East Indian tea room or a Pizzeria, but if you’re dishing it up, it’s best to be strictly homespun.”)

– What songs to sing. (“Nothing lets the hair down faster in a mixed group than a few peppy songs.” Such as “Shoo Fly,” “Buffalo Gals,” “Johnny Get Your Hoe-Cake Done,” and “Good-Night Ladies.”)

– What games to play. (“Each girl…takes off her right shoe, and puts it in a bag. All the bags are collected and put in a laundry basket. Each boy selects one of the packages. The girls are all seated in a line against the wall, and it’s up to the men to find the owners of the shoes. When this is done, they are all off in a swirl of swoony music, and woe unto the ‘dolly with the hole in her stockin’!'” )

Miss Betz also has some suggestions for theme parties, such as a butterfly chase party. Each couple gets a butterfly net and small bottle of gasoline to “to chloroform the insects” and then sets off into the woods to “bag booty.” When it’s over, you have plenty of beautiful dead butterflies to mount for your rumpus room!

If only I had had this book in high school, maybe then I would have been popular outside of marching band.”

Holly: Any teenager who follows advice from this book is certain to be shunned by his peers.   There are a few public and school libraries out there that still have this book on their shelves.  School libraries, especially, seem like a particularly awful place for this book.

Teen self-esteem builder

The Teen Face Book
American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
1989

These kids on the cover look familiar.  Isn’t that one girl from Family Ties?

Anyway, what bothers me is this is a book aimed at teens and seems to be full of lots of information on how you as a teenager can fix your face problems with plastic surgery.  Parents hate you?  Can’t get a date?  The answer is a “little bit of work!”

Although this book contains some information on acne treatment and healthy skin, the second half of the book is all about the plastic surgery.  Not sure I believe we should be telling teens that plastic surgery will fix the all the problems they are having with life–especially with medical data from 1989.  Short answer:  a more balanced attitude about cosmetic surgery and something within the last 5 years would be more appropriate.   Definitely a weeder!

Mary