John Neufeld Sada Fretz - Essay

Sada Fretz

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Lisa, Bright and Dark is the] story of a teen-aged girl who is losing her mind and knows it…. The story does not delve into the gruesome details of mental illness but it does present a serious subject previously untouched in children's books, and its disintegrating heroine is convincing in her desperation. Despite some faults—the adults are either shadows or stereotypes; the girls' conversations about movies, boys and diets often lack authenticity, the doctor's final emergence and acceptance by Lisa's parents constitutes too pat a solution—this story is superior to most junior novels, is skillfully constructed and more exciting than Neufeld's previous, highly praised Edgar Allan….

Sada Fretz, "The Book Review: 'Lisa, Bright and Dark'," in School Library Journal, an appendix to Library Journal (reprinted from the February, 1970 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co./A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1970), Vol. 16, No. 6, February, 1970, p. 90.

Harry Walsh's first experience of Twink, his cerebral-palsied stepsister, is a shock and, when he finds he can divine her meaning, something of a tonic; [Touching] is not Harry's story, however, though he is the nominal narrator of half of it, but Twink's as he draws it first from his stepmother on the drive home to Chicago and then from another older...

(The entire section is 403 words.)