Kin Platt Patricia Campbell - Essay

Patricia Campbell

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[In Chloris and the Weirdos, Mr. Platt] has done an excellent job with the character of Jennifer, portraying her problems and her solutions to those problems in a way that is easy for middle class preteens to identify with and learn from. His other characters do not come across as well. Harold is the perfect non-stereotyped adolescent, who is frequently just too good to be true. Jennifer's sister Chloris and her mother are portrayed as somewhat one dimensional, while her grandmother is portrayed in a negative manner that contributes nothing to the story.

The writing is smooth and easy as the book moves toward what seems to be its inevitable conclusion of Jennifer resolving her concerns about Harold and her mother's dating. Then Jennifer's mother goes away for a weekend with a man and Chloris runs away. The resulting family discussion on what family members owe each other and what they owe themselves is well done, although the reader is left hanging somewhat as to how the mother-daughter conflicts will be resolved. Perhaps that will be included in the next book in the series.

In general the book is a reasonably good one, although somewhat weakened by its negative portrayal of the grandmother. It can be of value to the preteen children of divorced parents trying to come to grips with both their own and their mothers' sexuality.

Patricia Campbell, in her review of "Chloris and the Weirdos," in Interracial Books for Children Bulletin (reprinted by permission of Interracial Books for Children Bulletin, 1841 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10023), Vol. 10, No. 7, 1979, p. 15.