A teenager who followed tips on becoming popular from a 1950’s etiquette book authored by a Teaneck-native has landed a $300,000 two-book deal and could turn her story into a feature film.
The teen, Maya Van Wagenen, chronicled her experience making friends at a Brownsville, Texas school by following tips in “Betty Cornell’s Teen-age Popularity Guide,” the New York Post reported.
Cornell’s book includes advice including how to properly squeeze pimples, wearing white gloves, girdles and pearls. Advice from the Teaneck-native and former model isn’t all superficial, however.
“Be yourself, don’t put on airs, treat everybody with the same kindness,’’ the 86-year-old Cornell told the Post, through her daugher.
The teen’s “social experiment” has spurred new interest in the dated etiquette book with copies reportedly selling for as much as $118 on used book websites.
“I thought I would never hear about the book again,’’ Cornell said.
For her part, Van Wagenen’s book “Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek’’ is set for release in April.
DreamWorks has also optioned movie rights to the 15-year-old’s story, according to Deadline.com.