Can a "How To Be Popular" guide written in the 1950s help an awkward teen from 2012 to build confidence and fit in?
Surprisingly, the answer is "yes"!
When it came to popularity, Maya Van Wagenen often described herself as being "pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren't paid to be here". Then she discovered Betty Cornell's Teenage Popularity Guide, published in 1951. Her dad had bought it as a joke, but when it came into Maya's hands, she saw it as something as more than just a novelty prop. Before beginning 8th grade, Maya decided to try something: She'd follow the advice in the book and see where it took her, applying Betty Cornell's advice to her life in the 21st century. The results were amazing. Not only did Maya build her own confidence, but she actually gained a certain level of popularity.
Maya's own memoir, Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek, is funny, heartwarming, and, at times, positively cringe-worthy. And it proves that, while trends come and go, some advice is timeless! A definite must-read!
p.s. Want to check out Betty Cornell's book for yourself? We own that too! --AJB