Seventeen Author:Booth Tarkington Published in 1959. Twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Booth Tarkington had a warm understanding and wry sympathy for the very special sufferings and raptures of America's youth. Severnteen, while displaying an exqisite sensitivity to the tortures of adolescence, and a marvelous ear for the spoken language, is also a precise and charming evoc... more »ation of the Middle West of Mr. Tarkington's boyhood, a place and time that are forever gone.« less
This is one of the few books that have made me laugh out loud--and that, more than once. Although the story is set some time in the early 20th century, it is a timeless account of the "sufferings" of a teen-aged boy who longs to be cool and attractive to the opposite sex, but is constantly being thwarted by cruel fate or else being embarrassed by his loving parents and/or unsympathetic little sister.
If you are ever read this book, please, please DO NOT peek ahead to the ending. It is a surprise, and my favorite of all I have come across (mysteries and the like excepted, of course).
It was first published around 1916 I think, and therefore you can probably find a digital copy somewhere, if not a paper copy.
Being 17 a hundred years ago was completely different than it is today, and yet very much the same. The characters in this book inhabit a world of formal manners and rigidly defined social behavior, but their feelings and behaviors wouldn't be foreign to a teenager of today. Nicely written, laugh-out-loud funny and touching all at the same time, this is a wonderful read, and I loved the rather surprising ending.