1945 (original copyright 1939)
This vintage gem first started as a series of short stories featured in the New Yorker back in the 1930s. Our protagonist is a 13 year old girl named Judy Graves. This series was mostly about growing out of her awkward stage and her upper middle class family.
Benson was a prolific author and screenwriter including the book, Meet Me in St. Louis which was adapted into the musical featuring Judy Garland. Her other credits include the screenplay The Singing Nun, Viva Las Vegas and the Academy Award winning script Anna and the King of Siam.
Benson remains an important author, but this vintage paperback should probably be retired to an archive. Benson’s material is still published and is absolutely deserving of a place in any library. Will it be popular among today’s teens? Probably not. However, maybe it doesn’t go in your average youth/teen collection, but maybe in the regular fiction section. Regardless of the pedigree of the title, in a public library I want to see books in the section where they are most likely to find their own audience.
I think material like this is a difficult conundrum for a lot of collections. Yes, it is worthy. Larger libraries shouldn’t sweat the choice on making it available in their collections, but might have trouble deciding where to shelve something this vintage. For smaller collections, I wouldn’t hesitate to weed this item if the circulation wasn’t up to par. This is where the smaller libraries have to really push electronic resources or ILL for their patrons.
In the meantime, this will be on my TBR pile.