Eilís Dillon

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Colin Field

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 143

One of the chief virtues of [The Seals] is its restrained and controlled excitement. Eilis Dillon is a gifted and consistent writer who never descends to sensationalism but who holds the reader through the skilled pacing and the probability of her stories. Outstanding too … is the author's insight into the minds and hearts of adolescent boys. The book portrays the ambivalence of their relationships with adults—they need adults to prop up their idealism, but they are also critics of adult society when they see village gossip for what it is. Adolescent boys will enjoy the delectable bits of detail in the story—see for example the description of boys lighting a fire—and the more sensitive among them will enjoy the perceptive portrait of island community life.

Colin Field, "Eleven to Fifteen: 'The Seals'," in The School Librarian, Vol. 17, No. 1, March, 1969, p. 89.

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