With school out for the summer, thoughtful Jessie and her light-hearted chum Amy have time to be simply crazy about the latest technological invention—radio. This is the first in a series of four books that was originally and more accurately called Radio Girls rather than Campfire Girls. Published in the early part of the last century by the Stratemeyer Syndicate under the name Margaret Penrose, this book is somewhat formulaic but also clever, sweet, lively and fun. It reminds me of the Girl Aviator series of about the same time by Margaret Burnham with its “Girls can do it too!” attitude, allowing the girls in the story to be almost, not quite, as skilled as the boys.
In this book Jessie and Amy become experts in all things radio, putting together their own set and stringing up their own aerial wires so they can listen to bedtime stories, local news, funny talks by newspaper men, and best of all live music--orchestras and jazz bands--broadcasting from nearby towns. They also put on a radio concert and lecture to raise money for a local charity, paddle a canoe to a strawberry patch for berry picking, hide out in a deserted snake-filled house during a thunderstorm, befriend Henrietta, a young, hard working orphan girl, and after hearing a cry for help come through their radio earphones they help Henrietta find her kidnapped cousin, a girl of their own age who is needed to testify in an important legal case of Jessie’s father. In between their adventures Jessie and Amy speculate about future wonders of technology, including televisions, video phones, and for them most exciting of all, radios so miniaturized they can fit in a pocket to be carried around and listened to anytime, anywhere.
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