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Teen romance novels written in the 1950s have been criticized for their lack of realism, for ideological conservatism, and mediocre writing. Included in this category, but also largely ignored, is the fiction of Janet Lambert. This essay aims for a careful consideration of Lambert's work through a close reading of four of her novels, beginning with Little Miss Atlas (1949). Thompson establishes a context for the analysis by comparing Lambert's work with other 1950s teen novels and with the 1990s "Sweet Valley" romance series, and contemporary "realistic" fiction for Young Adults. Thompson argues for a more positive assessment of Lambert's achievement.