May 9, 2014 1:00 PM

Teen finds meaning, inspiration for book in 1950s popularity guide

For Maya Van Wagenen, digging up a previous generation’s teen scene actually helped her. She survived the middle-school blues thanks to “Betty Cornell’s Teenage Popularity Guide,” originally published in 1951. Her experiences following the guide led Van Wagenen to write her own book, “Popular,” which has now been optioned for a movie.

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