Booth Tarkington was an American novelist and dramatist from Indiana best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning novels "Alice Adams" and "The Magnificent Ambersons," which also be came a film by Orson Welles. Tarkington chronicled Midwestern American life, and the changes wrought by the economic boom times followoing the Civil War and up to World War I.
One of the themes that Tarkington treated was boyhood and adolescence, beginning with "Penrod" in 1914, and continuing in "Penrod and Sam" and "Penrod Jashber,"
"Seventeen" is another story of boyhood of boyhood, coupled with romance. William Baxter is infatuated with baby-talking Lola Pratt. First love with all of its glories and pratfalls, called "one of the superb comedies of adolescence" by Tarkington's biographer, James Woodruff.