Contrary to certain opinion, the new wave of novels for adolescents hasn't explored every sensational topic after all; mainly because the adult author doesn't live in a world as corrosively conformist or as criminally cruel as that of the teenager. Breathy novels about drugs, sexual liberation and sub-proletariat gang warfare let off scot-free the majority of young readers, who are virtually all middle-class, who deny drugs are a problem, and who are amazingly prudish about other people's sex lives.
Lois Duncan breaks some new ground in ["Killing Mr. Griffin"], a novel without sex, drugs or black leather jackets. But the taboo she tampers with is far more potent and pervasive: the unleashed fury of...
(The entire section is 723 words.)