Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Book I'll Never Forget...

Has anyone heard of this book? It was originally published in 1968, and at some point, Scholastic Books offered it in their school book orders. (Which, considering it’s about a teen pregnancy, in hindsight, I find rather racy!)

I bought it in 6th grade, read it, and filed it away with my growing book collection. Pretty much end of story, except that I pulled it out again in 10th grade, and with a more mature comprehension, fell head-first into the story.

It follows middle class kids, 16 year-old July and 17 year-old Bo Jo, who “lost control” one night, and found themselves “in the family way”. They elope, and, with the support of their parents, drop out of school and basically become grown-ups. He goes to work at a bank and she becomes a housewife, while they wait for the next stage of their lives for which they are totally unprepared: parenthood.

This book intrigued me on a number of levels. I thought the whole playing-house-with-a-popular-football-player was cool, loved the idea that teens my age didn’t have parents breathing down their necks, could do whatever they wanted. But I also felt their desperation at being forced into dull-as-dirt adult lives, all from the consequences of a reckless act. I wanted them to run from each other, to give the baby up for adoption, and have fun again--yet I also wanted them to live happily-ever-after together, too.

The book has a very satisfying ending--believe me, I know, because I read it at least five times. If you’re interested, you can read it, too. The publisher released a new version that I found listed on Amazon:

But you can also find used copies of the old version, which I did, and plan to read again soon. From what I’ve heard, the book not only holds up well, but adults like it as much as teens. We’ll see!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones, or about any teen books that affected you!

What I’m Reading: Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen (yes, still--my life's pretty crazy right now)

Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie, January 2008
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009


stephhale said...

Oh, I hate it when people "lose control", ha! Sounds like a good book. I bet it scared the ba-jeez-us out of you to be a good girl, huh, Tina?

Marley Gibson said...

I have never heard of this book, but it looks to be universal in terms of message. Thanks for posting this, Tina!

Kelly Parra said...

Sounds really great, Tina! Growing up, I was blown away by the original VC Andrews books. Ugh, kept me in suspense and up into the nights. :)

TinaFerraro said...

Yes, Steph and Marley, you're right, this book has a universal message, and one that DOES make a girl think twice!

Kelly, I've never read VC Andrews, but I know those books were super-popular. Am I right that the author passed away, and someone continued the series in her place? Or was that someone else?

Janie Emaus said...

Hi Tina,
I've never heard of this book. But your post got me thinking about what I read as a teenager and I can't remember any teen book standing out. I read a lot of teen magazines and wanted to marry George Harrison.


TJBrown said...

OMG I loved that book!!!!!

I had even forgotten the name of it until I read it on the blog and it came rushing back to me! I would love to reread it.
Teri rushing off to see if she can find a copy!

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, Janie! I remember a lot of teen mags, too, especially 16 with cute boys on the cover!

And TJ, woo-hoo, another Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones fan! Let me know if you find it and read it!

Tera Lynn Childs said...

Ooh, awesome find, Tina. (As you'll see from my post, Scholastic was good to me, as well.)

This reminds me, in a very bizarre way, of that movie SUGAR & SPICE--about the cheerleader who gets pregnant by the star quarterback. (Then she and her squad start robbing banks to pay for the baby, and any similarity evaporates...)


Simone Elkeles said...

Does anyone remember that movie with Molly Ringwald where she's a teen and has a baby with the teen guy she dated? Ooh, what was the name of it? Is it the movie version of the book?

Simone Elkeles said...

I found it. It's called For Keeps. Here's the link on Amazon:


Heather Davis said...

I've never heard of this book, but it looks great!