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**HON 1000: ‘Going Steady?’: Documenting the History of Dating in American Culture, 1940-1990 (Anderson/Fall 2018)

Assignment for This Week

You will be assigned a number in class.*

(this box was edited on Thursday, 9/6, AFTER class,
so represents the numbering system from 9/6 class!)

Number 1s: Read the Seventeenth Summer excerpt FIRST. THEN read the Two and the Town excerpt.

Number 2s: Read the Two and the Town excerpt FIRST. THEN read the Seventeenth Summer excerpt.

Both 1s and 2s should read the Rainbow Jordan excerpt (in no particular order)

Be prepared to talk about how the order in which you read these excerpts (including Rainbow Jordan!) affected your thinking about the boy-girl dynamics described in each. 

* * *

Want to know what happens?

  • The full text of Two and the Town is readable here (HathiTrust Digital Library)
  • Seventeenth Summer is available in the Atlanta Campus library; for location/call number click here.
  • Rainbow Jordan is available in the Atlanta Campus Library; for location/call number click here

cover, Two and the Town, first edition, Scribner

In-Class Handouts (from September 6/Week 3 class)

All of the excerpts below are from Norton Hugh Jonathan's 1951 book Guide Book for the Young Man About Town (1951).

Guide Book for the Young Man About Town was a revised and enlarged edition of Jonathan's previous book, on the same topic, called Gentlemen Aren't Sissies (1938). 


The Many Faces of Seventeenth Summer



1962? 1968? 1972?

Late 1970s? 1980s?



Seventeen magazine reviewed Seventeenth Summer in February 1945 (Seventeen's first issue came out in September 1944).

If you squint you can just make it out among all the advertisements...

Examples: Other YA Fiction... Among Many Others

cover, Betty Cavanna, A Time for Tenderness


(A Southern teen girl's interracial romance in Rio. . .  1962 style)


(Classic passed-around-the-schoolbus teen-sex YA novel)


(One of the earliest YA lesbian love stories,
notable for its somewhat happy ending)

Searching for YA Fiction

Unfortunately, there isn't a great way to search specifically for love stories. Historically, the earliest YA novels (from the late 1940s-early 1960s) tended to be dating stories about white, straight couples. Dating stories falling outside of those norms may be more likely to include subject headings pointing the categories represented. If you click on the cover image for Annie on My Mind, above, you'll see the library's catalog record--and one of the subject headings there is "Lesbians Fiction.

What does it mean that novels about heterosexual, white couples (consenting or not) often have no subject headings, and novels about couples outside of that model are more likely to have specific subject headings? 

Helpful Secondary Sources

These are books that can help you identify relevant historical young-adult fiction: