Zena Sutherland

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 433

The head injury she had had as a small child had left Elinor [central character of Axe-Time, Sword-Time] with no less intelligence, but with a malfunction that kept her from reading or spelling well. Mother insists that Elinor should stay in school for an extra year so that she can get into college. It isn't what Elinor wants, but it's hard to break away…. Elinor's problems are not those of all readers, but most adolescents face similar situations: adjusting to, and accepting, one's own limitations; establishing independence from parents; and learning, as Elinor does, to accept people with other—even disparate—interests and backgrounds. The writing is subdued but not sedate, the characters and relationships perceptively depicted.

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Zena Sutherland, "New Titles for Children and Young People: 'Axe-Time, Sword-Time'," in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (© 1976 by The University of Chicago; all rights reserved), Vol. 30, No. 1, September, 1976, p. 6.

Pimm [in Pimm's Cup for Everybody] is a retired pub keeper, touring the US on a hospitality visit that's really a thinly disguised publicity stunt, and Derek, a college athlete and TV-commercial model chafing at the prospect of becoming a hot commercial property, is assigned to chauffeur him. The two are innocents abroad in a country where only money talks…. [Both] bolt the tour to see America on their own…. Dixon's idea is a good deal bolder than its execution. At times her Mr. Pimm … seems destined to be the vehicle for picaresque satire, but that Derek is able to resolve his problems simply by saying no to a pro contract and going off to work with underprivileged kids certainly softens up the picture of pervasive, big-business decadence. Despite frequent lapses into sentimentality and Dixon's unaccountable faith in a hero who too often comes across as shallow, Pimm's Cup is just subversively effervescent enough to serve as a bracing pick-me-up.

"Young Adult Fiction: 'Pimm's Cup for Everybody'," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1976 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XLIV, No. 17, September 1, 1976, p. 981.

After a stint on the stage crew of a summer playhouse, 18-year-old Tom Fortier leaves his small-town home for New York, hoping to enter the legitimate theater of the 1950s [in Cabin in the Sky]…. Though Corcoran's nicely polished style is impeded by stereotyped characters and a shallow, obvious story line, young people with an interest in the theater and an awareness of its special problems during McCarthy's blacklist era should find the story uncomplicated and comfortable.

"Books for Young Adults: 'Cabin in the Sky'," in Booklist (reprinted by permission of the American Library Association; copyright 1976 by the American Library Association), Vol. 73, No. 2, September 15, 1976, p. 132.

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