It snowed on Sunday, and I felt like hibernating. Instead, I hauled a stack of Lenora Mattingly Weber's Beany Malone books out and started reading. I don't know why these books still appeal to me so much. Written starting in 1943, they capture everyday family life in that era. The last one was published in the late 60s, and reading them all in quick succession can give one the bends (wait-- weren't we just in WWII?), but they are wonderful. Life isn't easy for Beany, but I always loved the way she perservered. I like the Katie Rose books as well; depending on how long the cold that settled in my head lasts, I may read those too.
The great philosophical debate is whether or not to let my 13 year old daughter read them. Lura Green has a great essay on this type of books, and includes the line "the nostalgia I felt for Jane's movie-and-a-coke dates was so intense it was as if they were something not that I had read about once, but that I had actually experienced and lost. " That pretty much describes what reading these books does to me.
What would they do to my daughter? Hmmm.