Week 33: Beany Malone

When I was in library school, I did a paper on Christian fiction for the YA market. As part of the paper, I read some Catholic YA fiction, and one was Beany Malone. (It's not actually terribly Catholic except that they go to mass regularly.) Recently I found 3 of the books in the series at my local library, where they will soon be weeded, so I thought I'd read them while I could.

The Beany Malone series was quite popular in the 50's, and features the large and loving Malone family, with Beany (a teenager and the youngest of 4) as the star. Their mother died several years ago, and their father is often gone on business, so the teens often tackle their problems on their own. Beany gets in and out of scrapes, worries about whether the boy she likes will like her back--the usual sort of thing. The author must have had a bit of reluctance to write any romantic slushy stuff, because each book conveniently starts with Beany on the outs with her guy, and ends with them making up, thus neatly avoiding any kissing.

They're still kind of fun to read, but apparently almost completely obscure these days, though they did get reissued for fans several years ago. I was surprised that they didn't show up as free downloads anywhere (as the Patty Fairfield series did), but that will probably happen soon enough.


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