Your A to Z SUPER Problem Solver By Lucille Warner and Ann Reit


Oh, what is lurking behind that nondescript (but groovy!) cover? The copy on the back promises:

What’s bugging you? What’s making your life impossible?

Follow the handy checklist of suggestions for each of the A to Z problems, and your life can be easier- and lots more fun!

With 26 wonderful cartoons.

Well, the good news is that at the end of the turbulent 1970s, all of ‘Teendom is still only experiencing 26 problems, which conveniently correspond to the letters of the alphabet, from “Acne” to “Zest”. And Scholastic house writers Lucille S. Warner (Love Comes to Anne!) and Ann Reit (Dream Boy, a book that graced the shelf of literally every Woman of a Certain Age reading this. Go ahead and click the link, I’ll wait for the flashbacks to stop…) are here to address your concerns with True-or-False quizzes for each topic, so you can make sure that you’re all normal and stuff.

Plus, cartoons! Everyone loves cartoons!

Well, except it turns out that “wonderful cartoons” actually translates as NIGHTMARE INDUCING ILLUSTRATIONS OF HIDEOUS TROLL-DEMONS:


That is the one that accompanies the entry on “Unhappiness”. Obvs.

Some Highlights

 A is for Acne:

You don’t get it from thinking sexy thoughts or anything like that.


No worries, Jimmy! You can keep thinking your thoughts about Robert Redford and his magnificent golden wingèd hair!

True or False? Have You…

2. Read a good article on the subject?

9. Tried not to feel like a social outcast?


B is for Boredom:

A good way to handle the problem you think is boredom is to recognize that for various reasons there are some people and things that you have negative feelings about, that you just don’t enjoy as much as you used to.

I dozed off just reading that paragraph. I’m skipping to the quiz:

True or False? Have You Tried To…

1. Learned to play a musical instrument?

3. Get involved with other people’s feelings?

7. Spend some time talking to old people?

10. Grow?

(Aside: GROW???)

D is for Drinking:

Drinking is something like a maypole- which is a bright pole with many different colored streamers hanging down it.

Spoilers from your future adult-self: Drinking is nothing like a maypole.

F is for Fathers:

A father is a person who is sometimes not around the way you wish he were. Sometimes he’s not around because he’s divorced from your mother. A father is a person who isn’t around, sometimes, because he’s dead.


A father is a ghastly drunken gargoyle with no legs and breath like a wind tunnel full of rotten eggs that SUPPORTS THIS FAMILY YOUNG LADY! WHO ELSE IS GOING TO KEEP YOU IN PLAID KNEE SOCKS?  Now get yer old man another pack of Luckies.

True or False? Have You…

4. If your father is dead, found one or more men you like to be with and talk to?

H is for Height:

True or False? Do you…

3. If you are a very short girl: Wear the styles that will not accentuate your shortness? Not wear ridiculously high heels? Not play it cutesy?

Fact! This is what I am wearing today:


K is for Kookiness:

Just the picture here, drink in Milady’s MC Escher pants:


N is for Nutrition:

If you have problems about food, though, you cannot solve them by deciding to never eat again. You would just starve to death.


Q is for Quarreling:


“Irving! Wear another puffy down vest or you’ll catch your death of cold!”

“Stop trying to run my life, MOM!”

V is for Violence:

True or False? Have You Ever…

2. Written to a TV station to complain about a particularly violent program?

W is for Weight:

There is one way, and one way only, to stop being the fat kid and to start slimming down. That’s to eat less food. You could keep a pencil and paper with you and record every single thing you swallow. Pretty soon you’ll get so weary of writing “hamburger,” “pizza,” “ice cream cone,” or “chocolate bar” every five minutes that you’ll skip a couple of those things.


X is for X-ams:

No, not “X-mas”.


That is not a word.

Z is for Zest:

In the long list of things that cause you problems, one that can really get in the way is the absence of zest.

In conclusion: you’re not fully clean unless you are zestfully clean.

That’s all I’ve got. I’m going to write about the 15 pizzas I’m going to eat and then take a dance around the liquor Maypole.

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11 Responses to Your A to Z SUPER Problem Solver By Lucille Warner and Ann Reit

  1. grace says:

    I actually laughed until I while reading this.

  2. Pingback: Terror on the Mountain By Phillip Viereck | Lost Classics of Teen Lit, 1939-1989

  3. Tracy says:

    How can this be for real? I am randomly laughing out loud and probably will for the next day or so.

    • mondomolly says:

      😀 The cartoon of the guy worrying about his Robert Redford-based thoughts never fails to crack me up. I need to do some more vintage advice books!

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. Susan says:

    How different my life would have been if I had had this book in my youth 😉 !

  5. Amity says:

    Very late comment but I bet the author doesn’t realize that the maypole is actually a phallic symbol!

  6. Amity says:

    Very late comment but I bet the author doesn’t realize that the maypole is actually a phallic symbol!

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