Advice for Mrs. Robinson

How to Get a Teenage BoyHow to Get a Teenage Boy and What to Do With Him When You Get Him

Submitter: Recently my colleague showed me her copy of [this book] and I immediately thought of your website.  When I looked at the cover I thought it was a cougar training manual.  What’s written inside is just as precious as the cover.  It seems that Ellen Peck was a younger version of Helen Gurley Brown and even includes some of Gurley Brown’s recipes for breakfast beverages for when you feel gaggy.

Holly: Hippest? Grooviest?  Oh boy.  I am cracking up at the cougar training manual bit – the woman (teenage girl??) on the cover does look rather old to be picking up teenage boys, doesn’t she?  Or is that Ellen Peck herself on the cover?

How to Get a Teenage Boy back cover

  1. I am hyperventilating at the thought of all that stalking, flirting and grooving!
    The model HAS to be Cheryl Tiegs! Wow! A face out of the past! And Ellen Peck is getting her “Julie Christie” look on–without success, I might add (mee-yow!).

  2. Any book which offer me “step-by-step stalking strategy” is a book which is to be treated with great caution. =P

    Very strange stuff.

  3. Another vote for Cheryl Tiegs, but what I really want to say about this book is, why did someone think this was an important purchase for a public library back in the day? My first real job as a teenager, a year before this was published, was in a good-size library in a well-known town that was once far more economically diverse than it is now, that had a well-stocked library that catered to a large arts and writer population. Despite its flusher than most budget and open-mindedness, I doubt this book would have been addedto the stacks.

  4. As a teenage girl I didn’t want a teenage boy. I wanted a grown man. Heck, the same could be said when I was 3 – my first crush was Mr. Spock after all.

    Never saw the appeal of teenagers or guys my own age back then and still don’t now!

  5. My favourite part of this is definitely:

    “FINALLY! The 50,000 copy hardcover bestseller.”

    As if the publisher was just like, “YES! We’ve sold 50,000. It took ages that did.”

  6. I can’t figure out if this book is intended for teenage girls who are looking for boyfriends in their own age range or if the intended audience is older women looking for younger (significantly younger) men. Either way, that’s a skeevy title. Ick!

    BTW, I’m positive that is Cheryl Tiegs–just a few years prior to her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover triumph.

    God, I’m old!

  7. Even as a young teenager in the early 70’s I knew this book was a crock.
    The author was also featured in a shampoo radio ad, giving fake advice to fake teenage boys about how to handle girls.
    One I remember: “Ellen, my girlfriend was wearing a peasant skirt and I told her she looked like a peasant! now she’s upset with me, why?”

  8. Stalking strategy??!! Sounds like a good way to get arrested or committed! Having raised 2 teenage boys, I can’t imagine why anybody would want one.

    1. I’ve got two teenage boys I’d like to get rid of. Any takers? Seriously, I think I might have had this book when I was younger. The title seems very familiar.

      1. I need a couple for the lawn…how are they with cutting the grass, weeding the garden, and other minor household chores? Otherwise, I’m not interested, the feeding and upkeep alone seems prohibitive.

  9. Interesting… reading the People article cited, it appears that Ms. Peck was 33 in 1976 which made her 26 in 1969 when the book was written. /-)

  10. Is that the author or Cheryl Tiegs? I admit the bangs are throwing me off.

    Either way, does the pitch really make sense? “If you want to know what she’s got that you haven’t – it’s probably this book!”

    The author? Sure, she has the book – and is enjoying royalties from 50,000 hardcover sales. And pre-celebrity Ms. Tiegs? Well, how was the potential buyer to know that she had anything other than looks and a red sweater?

  11. i think this was surely written for girls…not for those we now call ‘cougars’..

  12. Brian, The “she” being referred to by the cover is the “other girl” who has been successful in capturing the attention of a teenaged boy — presumably, the rival of the poor, pathetic young thing that needs the advice in this book. Basically, the sales pitch is, “if you’re a loser, we can help you!”

    1. WeedingGirl, I think you’re right. The “other girl” is the one who has been successful in “turning on the grooviest guys”. She’s represented here by Cheryl Tiegs… though something tells me that as a teenager the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model wasn’t much in need of stalking strategies.

  13. This was definitely for teenage girls – Oh my gosh -my friends and I had this book in the early 70s and nearly wore the cover off! I don’t remember any specific advice, but it’s definitely too old and out-of-date to keep in a public library. And yes, that’s Cheryl Tiegs on the cover – she was on the cover of everything back then!

  14. You can get a hardback copy of this from Amazon for $45! Amazon doesn’t list “How to get a teen-age girl &…”. I think that a title like that, even in the permissive late 1960’s would have been deemed over the top.

  15. If I were a teenage boy (I can almost remember what it was like), I’d run the other way.

  16. Ha! I remember sneaking peaks at my sister’s copy of this book. It gave advice like, “Carry a French magazine with you. When a cute guy asked you what you were reading say ‘Eet ees a magazine from my cawntree.’

  17. I have this book!! and it’s so so so funny to read. There is advice about where to sit in class in relation to the boy you like, joining after school activities to get closer, and so much more good stuff. Luckily I got it when it was only $2 on amazon….

  18. I read this book in the mid-seventies. I don’t remember anything in it about stalking boys. Mostly what I got out of it was concrete advice about how to break into cliques. Peck wrote about cliques that were popular with boys, but any clique at all was a step up for a teen as socially awkward as I was.

    Sure there was the Paris Match stuff, but I think that was more about practicing flirting.

  19. As a young teen, my one takeaway from this book was this piece of advice: if you’ve been making out on a date and you come home hot and bothered and don’t want your mother to notice, just say to mom, “It finally happened! He kissed me!” and rush up the stairs to your room.