Tom Swift, the Bobbsey Twins and Other Heroes of American Juvenile Literature

Author: Dizer, John
Year:1997
Pages:460
ISBN:0-7734-8641-0
978-0-7734-8641-6
Price:279.95
This study examines the contents, themes, and publishing histories of juvenile literature. Subjects range from Louisa May Alcott to Nancy Drew's home town, including Tom Swift (and his girlfriend), Dave Fearless, the Bobbsey Twins, Howard R. Garis, the Louisa May Alcott/Oliver Optic feud, Leo Edwards, Harry Collingwood, Edward Stratemeyer, the Rover Boys, Franklin Mathiews and Boy Scout Censorship, and Percy Keese Fitzhugh. This factual but humorous approach leans on the best scholarship in the field. It includes many illustrations to detail the publishing histories of these individual books and series, which often read like sophisticated pieces of detective work. With color illustrations.

Reviews

“This book is filled with the kind of information that takes a lifetime to acquire, but it is remarkably free of the encumbrances that make some academic writing tedious. In reading, one has the feeling of sitting on a porch with a knowledgeable, gifted storyteller as he regales you, passionately, with tales about the stories he has loved for decades and the behind-the-scenes drama associated with their publication. It is an academic book in a distinctly human voice, both a resource and an entertaining read.” – Ohioana Quarterly

". . . I am hard put to find something to criticize about this volume. His writing is both erudite and amusing. . . . The book itself is an exceptionally sturdy hardbound picture cover, and will certainly outlast most of the series books being published today. . . . If you are afraid of learning something, I would certainly suggest that you avoid this book." - Gil O'Gara in Yellowback Library

"Magnum opus is not a term that one often applies to popular literature, but it is among the first phrases that crossed this reviewer's mind on opening Jack Dizer's newest collection of his ruminations on the entertainment reading of a lifetime. . . . they now appear in their definitive forms between sturdy covers and printed on paper designed to last a long time. While there is critical analysis in these pages the value is that they are the personal view of one who has read and enjoyed these books. If the books under discussion are like old friends, reading these essays is like sitting down with a friend to hear all about them. Anyone fortunate enough to have met Jack Dizer will hear the voice of the author on every page. And those not so fortunate will still be amused, entertained, and enlightened. There are checklists of series, bibliographies of secondary sources, and illustrations that bring the books alive in vibrant color. . . . this is one volume of which we can confidently state that it is worth every penny, and cheap at the price." - Dime Novel Round-Up

". . . the book is lively reading and reflects the good humor of the author. Any serious student or collector of juvenile fiction should have a copy." - Scout Memorabilia