Below is an excerpt from the new novelette by Diane Campbell Green, Becky Likes Boys. A perfect read for Valentine’s Day. See www.DCGBooks.com to purchase this or other books from the Becky Chalmers, Baby Boomer’s Series. Available on Amazon.
What is this book about?
Becky Likes Boys begins with awkward moments at Becky Chalmers’ first dance. A Christmas celebration is almost ruined by an ice storm. Becky, Scotty Cadwallader, and a new friend, Hayley, attempt to thwart a mean girl’s plans and persuade her to try kindness. The stage is set for Becky’s crush to appear. In cutoff jeans, a ratty old T-shirt, and sneakers with holes in the toes, Becky meets her first love. Jackie Chalmers, Becky’s mother, is asked to describe what love feels like. “Yup, I’m in love,” Becky says. Oblivious of those around them, Becky and her crush become close until an unexpected event changes everything. Becky suffers—an old friend’s presence revives the hope in her heart.
What makes this book unique?
Becky Likes Boys is a pre-teen/teen coming of age love story that is uniquely set in small-town America in the 1960s. Diane Campbell Green, a gifted writer and a student of human nature has developed eight chapters of complexly woven events and personalities that draw the reader into a web of shifting circumstances. In this lovely awakening novelette about Becky Chalmers and her friends, the reader observes a precocious young girl become a graceful young lady when tested in an adolescent attachment. A tenderly sweet story, this book is likely to appeal to a wide audience of grandparents, parents, and their tweens/teens and especially to those with an affinity for first love stories.
Becky Chalmers and her sister-friend, Sharon discussed the spring dance to be held at Yardley Elementary School. This would be their first dance ever. Becky nervously lifted her feathery dark hair catching a bit of it and twirling it around her index finger, a comforting habit. She was baffled by the attention given this first dance by her mother. Sharon kept the dance within the realm of an everyday event. Sharon was almost always earthbound.
“Who are you going to dance with Becky?” Sharon asked.
“Probably David. My mom says we’re compatible.” Becky didn’t want to be without a boyfriend for the big event. “Scotty Cadwallader asked me to dance with him, too,” Becky said, “I’m not sure I want to though.”
David was slim and graceful, Scotty was big and clumsy, but Becky had made a deal with Scotty. This week, Scotty was a hero having rescued a tiny kitten who couldn’t get down from the big maple tree at the edge of the school playground. “That kitten climbed all the way up to the top of the tree. I’m an expert rescuer. It was no sweat to save him,” Scotty told the group of girls who surrounded him.
“Do you want to take this kitten home with you?” Scotty asked Becky.
“I’ll take good care of him,” Becky said, snuggling the tiny creature.
“Remember, I gave you the kitten. You have to dance with me on Saturday,” Scotty was pretty proud of this trade.
The kitten nestled in Becky’s arms. “I’ll dance with you once,” she said.
In the Chalmers household, Becky’s mom, Jackie, focused on her daughter’s first dance. Jackie was ready to launch Becky, her oldest child, into the grown-up world of school dances. After all, Jackie met Jim when they were both nine-years-old.
Thinking ahead Jackie Chalmers said, “Becky, I think you’re old enough to wear pantyhose to the dance.”
“Do you really, Mom? I promise I’ll be very careful with them.” As soon as Becky told Sharon about this milestone, Sharon went home and asked for pantyhose, too.
On Friday morning, the two mothers; Jackie Chalmers and Pat Edwards, went to Sears and Roebuck in Trenton to buy the necessary apparel.
“Here’s some of this new pantyhose for Becky, and look they have training bras,” said Jackie, pleased.
“I searched and thankfully I found pantyhose in Sharon’s size,” Pat said, with less enthusiasm.
Jackie said, “Let’s get them training bras, too Pat.”
“Don’t get carried away, Jackie,” said Pat. Jackie paused, but bought Becky a training bra anyway.
Those students chosen for the decorating committee spent all of Friday afternoon fixing up the school cafeteria for the occasion. Becky and Sharon watched. All but one of the tables were folded up and pushed to a corner by the janitor. The kids stretched crepe paper streamers and flowers made of colored construction paper around the remaining table. Lemonade and cookies baked by the mothers would be served.
Becky said to Sharon, “look where the chairs are lined up against the wall. My mom told me they’re for the wallflowers. She said girls who don’t get asked to dance have to sit there. I’ll never be a wallflower.” Becky was unquestionably sure.
This significant event would take place from 2 pm to 4 pm on Saturday afternoon. When Becky and Sharon took their morning walk to the Yardley library, they were eager and slightly jittery.
Mrs. Pincher, the librarian had a surprise for the girls. “Your friend David Yong told me about the spring dance. I made you corsages from pink tissue paper.” She showed them the paper flowers and put them in small boxes for Becky and Sharon to take home.
“Oh, thank you Mrs. Pincher,” Becky said.
“Sharon, we’ll wear these flowers to the dance. It’s better to wear a tissue paper flower than to be a wallflower, don’t you think?”
“Yeah, I never knew Mrs. Pincher could be kind,” Sharon said later.
Mrs. Pincher got along well with Becky who visited the library frequently; but she still had to struggle to be nice to Becky’s twin brothers, Jimmy and Billy Chalmers. The secret of who wrote a bad word on the library wall some time ago, came out last week, although the snitch didn’t know for sure which twin was the culprit.
It was time to get ready. Each of the girls started with bubble baths at their respective homes.
Dried off, her hair still dripping, Becky heard her mother say, “Becky, I have a special surprise for you.” Jackie held up a training bra; the package of pantyhose was tucked under her other arm.
Jim Chalmers was told about his daughter’s new apparel. He asked his wife why Becky needed to squeeze into pantyhose, “Becky doesn’t have an ounce of fat on her?”
Jackie, who wore a girdle almost every day since the twins were born, gave her husband the look. Jim knew he’d slipped into dangerous territory and asked no more questions, suddenly remembering the car needed a wash.
While Jackie watched, Becky struggled into the pantyhose, “Mom these are too tight.”
“You could wear Bobbie socks and your old Mary Janes (shoes),” Jackie said, knowing what Becky’s choice would be.
“I think I’ll wear pantyhose with my Sunday shoes instead,” Becky sighed.
At the Edwards’ house, Pat explained to Sharon how to adjust her pantyhose. Pat didn’t want her little girl to grow up fast.
Becky and Sharon were ready.
Jim and Jackie drove Becky to Yardley Elementary School in the baby blue Dodge Dart station wagon. Pat and Lee Edwards, Sr. rode with Sharon in the back seat of their Rambler.
The new hit, Wooly Bully, boomed from a stereo as the girls entered the cafeteria…
ISBN 979-8-9865899-2-3 paperback
Copyright 2023 Diane Campbell Green
All rights reserved First Edition This a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this book are products of the author’s imagination.
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