Hilma Wolitzer

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Joyce Bermel

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The keynote of ["Introducing Shirley Braverman"] is nostalgia for days gone by when, in Miss Wolitzer's view, life was warm and honest. The sentiment is Laura Ingalls Wilder's but the setting is familiar, the events are less exotic. Two of the more engaging chapters evoke a Saturday afternoon at the movies and a visit to "the movie lady," so dubbed because of her devotion to "Clark, Vivien, Lana, and Jimmy." But the accounts of the double feature suffer from Shirley's bland, childish prose. At times like this one wishes Shirley were less speller, more writer….

Since [Shirley's hero eventually comes home from the war], she is hardly affected by the big events of the time. The contrast is striking with books like Marilyn Sachs's "A Pocket Full of Seeds," in which the young French heroine's parents are snatched away.

Joyce Bermel, "For Young Readers: 'Introducing Shirley Braverman'," in The New York Times Book Review (© 1976 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), March 7, 1976, p. 16.

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