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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 225

One needs to be careful when reading a story by Jane Yolen because sometimes what appears to be a lighthearted adventure actually contains some serious business. "Lost Girls" is such a story. Yolen says in "Running in Place" in her Twelve Impossible Things before Breakfast that she had a daughter...

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One needs to be careful when reading a story by Jane Yolen because sometimes what appears to be a lighthearted adventure actually contains some serious business. "Lost Girls" is such a story. Yolen says in "Running in Place" in her Twelve Impossible Things before Breakfast that she had a daughter who "whined" constantly about everything being unfair, and Darla reminded her of her daughter. She also included names from family and friends in the novelette, including her daughter Heidi, whose name is given to one of the lost girls.

In "Lost Girls," Darla has a very strong sense of fairness, and she objects to Peter Pan because she thinks it is unfair to have girls do the housework while the boys do the exciting stuff. "Your argument is with Mr. Barrie, the author, and he's long dead," Mom says to Darla. Yet Darla's argument is actually with more than just James Barrie whose 1904 play Peter Pan became a classic of children's literature. Her parents' divorce hurts her; her mother does not seem like the cheerful woman Darla remembers from before the divorce; she has trouble accepting her father's new wife, as well as his twin sons, her half-brothers. It is into this darkness of resentment that she sinks as she goes to sleep, only to awaken in a tree near a pushy boy named Peter.

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