Janet Lambert, born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, was a popular girls' story author from 1941 through 1969 (and beyond to today). She wrote 54 books during that time about a number of different girls and their families. Her most popular series were about the Parrishes and the Jordons. These stories, and many of her other series, became entwined as the various characters met each other, married, and then had kids of their own!
Janet Lambert, having an interest in both the theater and writing, decided to write her own plays in which to act. She did achieve her goal and appeared on Broadway. When she married a career Army officer, her life on stage came to a close, but her stories were still flowing. Knowing well the "life of the Army," many of Ms. Lambert's books are set on Army posts throughout the United States.
Legend has it that her stories started as bedtime stories for her daughter while they were overseas. Each night, the author would tell the next "installment" of the series. Later, after her daughter was grown, she penned one of her stories (Star Spangled Summer) and—according to legend—it was sold to a publisher the very day after she sent it to them.
At one point her publisher, Grosset and Dunlap, came out with a "Locket Series" edition, with each book numbered and billed as "The Famous Janet Lambert Books." There are, by most accounts, 27 books in the Locket Series.
The first book, Star Spangled Summer, introduces us to the wonderful Parrish family and their "poor-little-rich-girl" friend, Carrol Houghton. It is my opinion, and that of many others, that this remains Ms. Lambert's finest. The wonderful tale of how Carrol finds happiness while visiting the Parrishes on the Army base in Kansas where they live is uplifting and fun.
What's new with Janet Lambert books?
A publishing company, Image Cascade, has republished all 54 of Janet Lambert's wonderful novels with vintage covers.
There is a Janet Lambert Discussion Group that includes Ms. Lambert's daughter, Jeanne Ann Vanderhorf.
Janet Lambert Bibliography
The delightful Penny Parrish brings happiness to everyone as she grows up and pursues an acting career.
Star Spangled Summer, 1941 (#1)*
Dreams of Glory, 1942 (#2)
Glory Be!, 1943 (#3)
Up Goes the Curtain, 1946 (#9)
Practically Perfect, 1947 (#7)
The Reluctant Heart, 1950 (#17)
Penny's younger sister, Tippy, faces heartache before she finds happiness.
Miss Tippy, 1948 (#12)
Little Miss Atlas, 1949 (#14)
Miss America, 1951 (#21)
Don't Cry Little Girl, 1952 (#23)
Rainbow After Rain, 1953 (#25)
Welcome Home, Mrs. Jordon, 1953
Song in Their Hearts, 1956
Here’s Marney, 1969
Parri MacDonald Books
Penny's daughter wants to follow her mother's footsteps and become an actress.
Introducing Parri, 1962
That's My Girl, 1964
Stagestruck Parri, 1966
My Davy, 1968
Candy Kane books
Candy has a special charm all her own—even if she isn't as pretty as her older sister.
Candy Kane, 1943 (#4)
Whoa, Matilda, 1944 (#5)
One for the Money, 1946 (#10)
This series follows the lives of the nine Jordon children, all raised by 16-year-old Jenifer.
Just Jenifer, 1945 (#6)
Friday's Child, 1947 (#8)
Confusion by Cupid, 1950 (#15)
Dream for Susan, 1954 (#22)
Love Taps Gently, 1955(#26)
Myself & I, 1957 (#19)
The Stars Hang High, 1960
Wedding Bells, 1961
A Bright Tomorrow, 1965
Christie Drayton books
The Draytons live in a barn in New Hope, Pennsylvania as a result of the housing shortage.
Where the Heart Is, 1948 (#11)
Treasure Trouble, 1949 (#13) (Janet Lambert's only mystery)
Dria Meredith books
Dria visits her great-grandmother's farm in Virginia for the summer.
Star Dream, 1951 (#18)
Summer for Seven, 1952 (#24)
High Hurdles, 1955 (Has tweed locket cover with corresponding locket "The Famous Janet Lambert Books" description, but no locket with number on spine)
Cinda Hollister books
Cinda learns how to take on adult responsibilities as she grows up.
Cinda, 1954 (#20)
Fly Away Cinda, 1956
Big Deal, 1958
Triple Trouble, 1965
Love to Spare, 1967
The unconventional Campbell family deals with life in Haiti.
The Precious Days, 1957
For Each Other, 1959
Forever and Ever, 1961
Five's a Crowd, 1963
First of All, 1966
The Odd Ones, 1969
Patty and Ginger books
Very different best friends deal with high school life near Philadelphia.
We're Going Steady, 1958
Boy Wanted, 1959
Spring Fever, 1960
Summer Madness, 1962
Extra Special, 1963
On Her Own, 1964
Sugar Bradley books
Sugar is very active at her high school—and finds love where she least expects it.
Sweet as Sugar, 1967
Hi Neighbor, 1968
* Numbers following certain books indicate its number in the Locket Series. You will notice that some of the numbering is out of order; for instance, Up Goes the Curtain happens before Practically Perfect, but for whatever reason, is numbered later. This happens with books in the Jordon series as well.
Despite all of my research, I have not been able to find out which book corresponds to #16 (Thanks to Patsy Miessler for emailing me about #26!)—if you happen to know, please, drop me a line!
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