Barbara Corcoran Cynthia Brown - Essay

Cynthia Brown

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The story of a young, resourceful girl's friendship with a Russian clown, and his defection with her aid, provides a fast-moving and low-key novel [The Clown]. The plot is suspenseful without being over-dramatized; the characterizations are excellent as the reader is drawn into the lives of Lisa and her clown…. Through the few days of tension and secret planning, the plot and characters are developed fully. The detailed life of an experienced traveler and her relationship to a state performer add to the modern reality of this book.

Cynthia Brown, "Fiction: 'The Clown'," in Young Adult Cooperative Book Review Group of Massachusetts, Vol. 12, No. 3, February, 1976, p. 49.

The Wordens live in Montana where it's conceivable that an armed college girl and an Indian friend might take to the woods on foot in search of her kidnapped little brother [in The Search for Charlie]. It's less easy to believe that Charlie would still be alive after an overeager sheriff interferes with the ransom pickup … or in the chain of circumstances which surround Jane's acting out her impulse to murder Charlie's abductor. Given Dixon's temperate, self-possessed execution, this is better than it sounds. Nevertheless, the pacing and development are reminiscent of TV drama.

"Young Adult Fiction: 'The Search for Charlie'," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1976 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XLIV, No. 3, February 1, 1976, p. 139.