Donna Parker Books
Donna Parker - An American Sweetheart
While still in elementary school I fell in love with the Donna Parker book series. Thirteen years old when the series begins, she was a girl I could relate to and admired. Some 40 years later I still remember Donna, her family, and her friends with great fondness. Some years ago I was able to buy the series on eBay, and am so glad to have copies of these books at hand.
If you, too, are/were a Donna Parker devotee - this lens is for you. If this is the first you've heard of Donna Parker, then please stick around and meet a new friend!
Synopsis - Donna Parker at Cherrydale (1957)
Donna and Ricky take jobs as junior counselors at Camp Cherrydale, a summer camp for young children run by Dr and Mrs Duvall.
As junior counselors, Donna and Ricky immerse themselves in camp life, enjoying meeting new people, getting to know their young charges, running activities and soaking up the lovely surroundings of the camp.
However, camp life is not all fun and games. Donna's senior counselor, Bunny, is acting very strangely, Dr and Mrs Duvall seem to be hiding something, Nancy, a young girl from Summerfield is causing problems at the camp and a mysterious house in the nearby woods has Donna and Ricky intrigued.
Synopsis - Donna Parker Special Agent (1957)
The summer is over and it is time for Donna and Ricky to go back to Summerfield Junior High.
Donna and Ricky go their separate ways more often as Ricky pursues her dramatic talents whilst Donna joins the school newspaper, quickly becoming elected as assistant editor.
Things take a turn for the mysterious when her long-lost uncle appears in Summerfield, her friend, Tommy Sheridan, thinks he is being spied on, Donna's friends begin to ignore her and a strange character, Mr Brown, is employed at Summerfield Junior High.
Little does Donna realise that an exciting trip to New York City will reunite her with old friends and solve all of the mysteries.
Donna Parker's Family
Donna's Parents: Sam and Grace Parker
Donna's father Sam is a businessmansalesman, and her mother is a full-time homemaker (previously a teacher)
Notable Qualities: Mr. Parker loves to tease the children. Mrs. Parker is obsessed with making sure the kids eat their breakfast, and sews beautiful clothing for Donna.
Donna's Brother: Jimmy Parker
Jimmy is about five years younger than Donna and a pest! He loves sports and the wild west, and is always making noise. His best friend Skipper Gray lives next door.
Donna's Sister: Rebecca (Becca) Parker
Becca is Donna's younger sister. She is outgoing, playful and active. She is good at sports, loves baseball, basketball and football and lies to play noisy "war" games. She also makes fun of, and teases, her older sister. Her best friend is Leah who lives 4 doors down from the Parkers.
Donna's Uncle: Roger Norcross
Roger is Grace Parker's long-lost brother. He ran away as a teenager and the Norcross family heard very little of him afterwards. He appeared in "Special Agent", later marrying Donna's teacher and heading back to his home in Hollywood. In "Spring to Remember" Roger promised Donna a holiday in California if she got straight As on her report card. Donna later visited Roger and his wife, Adele, during the book "In Hollywood". (Source: Wikipedia)
Donna's Aunt: Adele Norcross (nÃ©e Fischer) is a teacher of Donna's from "Secret Agent." She is young and friendly. She assisted with the running of the school newspaper and organized the trip to New York for the newspaper staff. Roger Norcross and Adele fell in love and arranged to be married in "Secret Agent". (Source: Wikipedia)
Synopsis - Donna Parker On Her Own (1957)
Donna's parents are offered the trip of a lifetime - Europe and India - the only catch is that Donna and Jimmy cannot travel with them.
A number of options are examined but finally it is decided that a young teacher from Jimmy's school will stay at the Parker family home and look after Donna and Jimmy until Mr and Mrs Parker return.
With less rules to worry about, Donna enjoys her new-found sense of independence; however, she learns that independence comes with some big responsibilities and new worries.
Donna Parker's Friends
Fredericka "Ricky" West is Donna's best friend in the whold wide world. Ricky's imagination gets out of hand on many occasions, and's she's just wild about dressing up and having fun. She loves romance, melodrama and acting.
Richard (Paul) White is the friend and somewhat boyfriend of Donna. They went on some dates when he was a counselor at Camp Three Pines and she was a junior counselor at the nearby Camp Cherrydale. They also dated during "A Spring to Remember". A year older than Donna, he is handsome, intelligent and popular.
Joyce Davenport is a classmate of Donna's. Initially she is considered to be arrogant, aloof and cold but following an accident, Donna gets to know the real Joyce and finds her a sweet, shy, caring girl. Joyce is highly intelligent and is very interested in journalism, most likely due to the fact her father is the editor of the Summerfield newspaper. (Source: Wikipedia)
Tommy Sheridan is smart with a flair for designing helicopters. His father owns a helicopter factory.
Amy Alexander is a friend of Donna's from Camp Arawak. Amy is very smart and shy. She doesn't make friends easily and gets very nervous around boys. She has red hair and freckles and at first Donna mistook her for Ricky. (Source: Wikipedia)
Thornton "Teddy" Bair was a counselor at Caribe, a camp for boys located near Arawak. He is charming and handsome but also a gossip with little sense of responsibility. (Yes, he's really called "Teddy Bair".)
Jennifer Bruestle lives next door to Mr and Mrs Norcross in California. She is the same age as Donna and the two become friends. Jennifer desperately wants to be an artist and feels that her parents are not very supportive. Jennifer has a younger brother who is Jimmy's age.
Linda Atkinson is a wealthy girl from Hollywood who is the same age as Donna. Adele Norcross, Donna's Aunt, arranged for Linda and Donna to catch up during Donna's holiday. Linda invites Donna to her mansion and elaborate party. Donna and Linda are friendly but don't have much in common.
Bruce Maslin is a dashing boy Donna meets on her way to visit her Uncle and Aunt in Hollywood. He is charming, amusing and good-looking. However, his lack of responsibility gets Donna into trouble on a few occasions during "In Hollywood". (Source: Wikipedia)
Mike Langley is a studious friend of Linda Atkinson. He is introduced during Donna's visit to California during "In Hollywood". He is very intelligent and hard-working. Donna enjoys his company, finding him reliable and interesting but not particularly fun. (Source: Wikipedia)
Ellie Townshead is Bunny Knight's cousin. She is also a bridesmaid with Donna in "Spring to Remember". Donna and Ellie did not get along particularly well in "Spring to Remember", especially after Donna overhears Ellie making fun of her with one of the groomsmen. However, during the book "In Hollywood", Donna and Ellie seem to get along better as they make arrangements to catch up in California. Ellie is an aspiring ballerina, very pretty and delicate. (Source: Wikipedia)
George Hart is a classmate of Donna's. He was elected school "Mayor" in "Secret Agent". He is considered very handsome, smart and popular by his classmates. (Source: Wikipedia)
Anne Franklin - tall, blond, animal lover. Fond of playing jokes on people.
Karen (last name unknown)
Synopsis: Donna Parker A Spring to Remember (1960)
It's springtime in Summerfield and Donna is enjoying her last term at Summerfield Junior High.
With a diary full of dates with former class President, Richard White, an invitation to be a bridesmaid in New York, a trip to Hollywood on offer and final exams, Donna is on cloud nine but one sad event will change Donna's whole outlook and Ricky's life forever.
Some Original Donna Parker IllustrationsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Synopsis: Donna Parker In Hollywood (1961)
Donna Parker is off to Hollywood! Staying with her Aunt and Uncle in glamorous Hollywood is the trip of a lifetime for Donna.
An exciting plane trip, dashing boys, movie studios, parties and a mysterious neighbor are all waiting for Donna as she spends time with her Aunt and Uncle and tours California.
It is not long before Donna learns some important lessons, in particular, the importance of looking beneath the surface.
Synopsis: Donna Parker Mystery at Arawak (1962)
After her exciting trip to California, Donna takes a job as a junior counselor at Camp Arawak for the remainder of her summer.
At first Donna finds camp life hard - Arawak is very different from Cherrydale, she doesn't know anyone, her charges are diverse and lively and her senior counselor seems to be hiding something.
However, Donna soon gets accustomed to camp life, meeting new friends, taking on new tasks and helping run the Drama department at the camp.
Whilst different from Cherrydale, Arawak has its share of mysteries and it doesn't take long for Donna to get caught up in the strange events at Arawak.
Synopsis: Donna Parker Takes a Giant Step (1964)
Donna's family enjoy the last week of their summer vacation by heading to Canada for a few days to catch up with some old family friends, the Stackhouses.
Celebration ensues when the Stackhouses announce they will be moving to Summerfield and their son, Jeff, travels back with the Parker's to commence school at the start of the term.
Living with her brother and Jeff makes Donna's life problematic as she tries to immerse herself at her new school, try out for the cheerleading squad, deal with a friend moving away and meeting new people.
However, life is problematic for many in Summerfield with teenage parties getting out of control but it appears that Jeff may hold the answer.