I picked up Barbie's New York Summer last week at the local DI which are the only thrift stores I've found in Northern Utah so far. I located this treasure while I was searching the used book racks, as usual, ferociously when my eyes read "Barbie" in a chartreuse tone. I thought to myself "that's weird normally things that say Barbie are printed in watermelon pink..." and I pulled it off the shelf for a closer inspection. I gasped shortly after I recovered from the revelation that BARBIE HAS BOOKS! I still can't believe it and I didn't at first until I spotted the copyright under the word 'Barbie' Mattel was printed along side a copyright date of 1962! I went over my check list for buying hardcover thrift books: Unbroken spine. Check. Book jacket. Check. Fabulous type. Check. Could I live without it? Yes... but I didn't want too. A spendy price tag of .50 convinced me that I had to by it for the illustrations at the very least. Plus being honest I should admit I was interested in finding out how Barbie was portrayed in the 1960's.
Barbie's New York Summer is exactly like that you would expect from the early 60's and the Mattel franchise. The story line is totally straight forward and Barbie does nothing wrong in all 120 some pages. Essentially Barbie wins a trip to New York to be a cover model for a popular teen magazine and stays with her Aunt and Uncle who are very prominent in theatre world and gets swept off her feet by an exotic young brown man who lives richly while Barbie has to lose 10 pounds. The End. I feel sorry for the young women who grew up being force feed this sort of 'how you should act' female propaganda.
I loved the book because I didn't have to use my brain as the story had almost zero conflict. This novel offered a tiny peek into the mentality that molded females in the early 60's and Barbie truly was the perfect woman. Or I should say she was ten pounds away from being perfect, which she had to lose and did so effortlessly by not eating A ONE SINGLE PIECE of coconut cream pie...as that was the only sacrifice she made through out the whole book. I was both excited and horrified by the portrayal of female roles encountered while reading Barbie's New York Summer. I would like to point out that the illustrations at the beginning of each chapter make up for the awful plot.