Kin Platt Zena Sutherland - Essay

Zena Sutherland

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Jenny writes about her problems and her sister Chloris in [Chloris and the Weirdos], a sequel to Chloris and the Creeps and Chloris and the Freaks. Jenny's thirteen, Chloris fifteen and difficult. Chloris had hated the stepfather Jenny loved, and she's bitterly resentful when their mother has a date; angry, and fearful that Mom may marry again. Jenny's more understanding, aware of her mother's loneliness, and she's happily establishing a relationship with her first boyfriend, Harold. Platt does a marvelously perceptive and amusing job with Jenny and Harold; they are nervous but candid with each other, neither wanting to be too committed and both finding joy in friendship as well as excitement at being in love. When an exasperated Chloris flounces off for a forbidden weekend at the same time Mom is making her gesture of independence (a weekend date) there's a showdown. The characters have vitality and conviction, the relationships are perceptively drawn, and there's an abundance of humor—especially in the dialogue between Jenny and her skateboard-addict Harold.

Zena Sutherland, in her review of "Chloris and the Weirdos," in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (reprinted by permission of The University of Chicago Press; © 1979 by The University of Chicago), Vol. 32, No. 7, March, 1979, p. 124.