Friday, December 18, 2009


Franzie is a typical 16 year old girl.  When she is one day rescued by a handsome surfer, Moondoggie, she decides she wants to learn how to surf.  Made one of the gang by the local surfer boys who nickname her Gidget (girl-midget), she falls in love with Moondoggie and, most of all, with surfing.
It takes so long to get old.  I wished I could have grown up over night. p.98
Written in 1957, Gidget was written by Frederick Kohner for his daughter, Kathy.  Based on her adventures with surfing, Gidget was the first book to deal with a girl learning to surf which was almost unheard of at that time.  It was followed by five sequels and two novelizations of the subsequent movies.  I knew of Gidget from the Sandra Dee movie which I love a lot and had no idea it was based on a book until recently.  The movie follows the basic plot of the book, but cleaned up since there is more talk of sex and drinking and smoking in the book. And while it's not on the Gossip Girl level, there is certain more sex talk than I expected in a 1957 book.  But then when you are dealing with college age boys, what else would you expect. 

Gidget and Moondoggie (Jeff)'s relationship is odd.  She doesn't pay much attention to him at first, thinking he is handsome but very focused on surfing.  But after a dream about kissing him, she begins to fall in love.  He, on the other hand, doesn't know what to do since she is so young (he thinks she is 17, she is really 15).  But they work it at in the end.  The ending is very empowering for Gidget as she defies the boys and learns to surf.


  1. I never knew Gidget was a book! I always think TV show. It sounds like a fun read.

  2. I think this is the first book I've heard of that's based on surfing. Interesting.

  3. This sounds fun! I love the whole girl surfing thing because I learned from my dad, so it's nice to see girl defying boy. :D

  4. I love this movie, starring Sandra Dee! I didn't know it was a book! I'll definitely pick this one up!


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