Marilyn Gardner

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 159

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Sam [is] a magnificently drawn portrait of a 15-year-old girl with a boy's name, a strange background, and a lot to learn about life. Everything about Barbara Corcoran's first book is unusual, from its highly individual group of characters and their island setting in Montana to the complex situations they must resolve.

Educated at home by her anti-social rancher-miner father, Sam finds herself the product of a totally different world when she finally enters school as a junior…. Life suddenly becomes a series of important choices and decisions: a reexamination of her parents' strange values, for one thing, and searching answers to questions of Who is right? and What is most important? The result is a mature, wise, and well-developed story, as individual and appealing as Sam herself.

Marilyn Gardner, "The Facts about Teen-Age Fiction," in The Christian Science Monitor (reprinted by permission from The Christian Science Monitor; © 1967 The Christian Science Publishing Society; all rights reserved), November 2, 1967, p. B11.∗




Nancy Young Orr