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