Isabelle Holland

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Alice Low

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["Amanda's Choice"] is fragmented, veering between Amanda, the baffled adults who analyze and explain her strong language and delinquent behavior, and Manuel, a resentful Cuban teenage musician…. [In] a soap opera ending, Amanda, her father and his new wife relate with honesty, warmth and reason.

The author understands child-rearing, psychological nuances and social problems, but she uses her characters to carry messages rather than to tell their flesh and blood stories. She makes important points: among them that emotional deprivation scars more deeply than material deprivation, and that Spanish Harlem has a richer, more genuine life than Amanda's insulated island.

Alice Low, "For Young Readers: 'Amanda's Choice'," in The New York Times Book Review (© 1970 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), May 3, 1970, p. 23.

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