Binnie Latches On, by Marie McSwigan -- "the smell of good newspaper ink"

I continued my recent reading of vintage books from the piles around the house with Binnie Latches On, by Marie McSwigan (1950), and ended up having the privilege (?) of being the person to put it up on Goodreads.  (I've never heard of the author--it was a random grab in a used bookstore--anyone read anything else by her?).

Here's the synopsis from the jacket flap:

"Binnie, one of the four young Hornes and finally editor of the Hornepiper, the neighborhood paper, felt herself badly put upon. All the other children had hobbies, did things, went places, but Binnie was the odd one and she not only took it to heart but let it make her self-centered. Finally, though, when she was about twelve, she went to Dad's office and the smell of good newspaper ink made Binnie realize what she wanted to be: a newspaper woman."

Well, yes, except she doesn't start in on the newspaper side of things till the last quarter of the book, and though that is very interesting and good reading, before that it is just her feeling put upon (with some reason, but it was a bit tiresome none the less).

There was also a plot element of looking for a new home, and finally moving to the house of the family's dreams--only it turned out to be a new ranch style house with modern conveniences, and so not interesting. 

So this is one for those who like vintage family stories, or those interested in girl reporters...not for those wanting "girl moving to new house."  Or for those who want to learn the Lesson that it is better to think of others than to brood about how wronged one is.   I shall try to remember this as I go about my life, selflessly putting my (not quite as appreciative as they could be) family first, as is my wont.

Note on cover--surely by 1950 the mother could wear slacks when picnicking out in the woods?


  1. What fun! Of course, moving into a new ranch house with mod cons WOULD have been new and exciting at the time. As for the slacks, my mother would have been Binnie's age in 1950, and my grandmother never wore a pair of slacks in her life, so I believe it! (And you got me started on reading Dinny Gordon, Freshman. My daughter has A Man for Marcy just for kicks!)

  2. Marie McSwigan also wrote Snow Treasure...which was *extremely* popular in the 70s...at least in my school! It was about a town in Norway during WWII, where the kids smuggled their country's gold out under the noses of Nazi soldiers. I still have kids come in to request our library copy, so it's still being read.

    1. Oh--I think I've seen only the modern paperback of this, and didn't associate it with such a vintage author!


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