Margaret O(ldroyd) Hyde Essay - Critical Essays

Hyde, Margaret O(ldroyd)


Margaret O(ldroyd) Hyde 1917–

American nonfiction writer for young adults and children, and editor.

Hyde is a noted writer of books dealing with scientific and social issues. She selects each subject for its importance to young people and approaches the material from a practical standpoint. Hyde thoroughly researches each of her topics and consults experts in order to provide the most recent information for her readers. Her writing style is clear and easy to follow, although some critics believe her books could be better organized. She has been praised for her talent of exploring the most fascinating questions in science and for rendering complex concepts, such as molecular structures, in understandable terms.

Hyde's books emphasize the day-to-day application of scientific information. Atoms Today and Tomorrow explains the properties of the atom and concentrates on the peaceful uses of atomic energy. In Driving Today and Tomorrow Hyde explains the mechanics of automobiles and offers suggestions on how to be a better driver. Other books on drugs, venereal disease, rape, and suicide objectively discuss relevant facts and implications and include references for further reading and counseling. Hyde has also written studies of such issues as pollution, overpopulation, and runaways. She has often been faulted for failing to present new facts on a subject, yet she offers her readers informative material and shows them ways to improve their lives and environment. (See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 1-4, rev. ed., and Something About the Author, Vol. 1.)

Virginia Kirkus' Bookshop Service

[Flight Today and Tomorrow is a] satisfactory once-over-lightly on flight…. A personalized narrative puts the reader in the pilot's position and the flights he goes on rise from a monoplane to a moon-bound rocket. All possible essentials, for so short a book, are well presented, and its unique contribution is its over-all view instead of a particular aspect, of all flight.

"Eight to Eleven: 'Flight Today and Tomorrow'," in Virginia Kirkus' Bookshop Service, Vol. XXI, No. 16, August 15, 1953, p. 589.

Dorothy Schumacher

[Flight Today and Tomorrow is an] elementary book on airplanes and the theory and technique of flight…. [Hyde writes in short], simple, declarative sentences…. Explanations are clear and examples, well chosen…. Since there is always need for more material on aviation, this book, with timely chapters on new war planes, rockets, and space travel will be useful….

Dorothy Schumacher, "Older Boys and Girls: 'Flight Today and Tomorrow'," in Library Journal (reprinted from Library Journal, December 15, 1953; published by R. R. Bowker Co. (a Xerox company); copyright © 1953 by Xerox Corporation), Vol. 78, No. 22, December 15, 1953, p. 2226.

Louise S. Bechtel

Mrs. Hyde writes for the teen-ager who soon will be a driver [in "Driving Today and Tomorrow"]. She opens cleverly with "personalities on the road,"… then gives some excellent beginner's lessons. Special needs for special skills and dangers, highway rules, how to be an expert, all are most ably covered. An excellent book for schools, libraries and homes, this will be just as illuminating to adults as to teen-agers.

Louise S. Bechtel, "Books for Boys and Girls: 'Driving Today and Tomorrow'," in New York Herald Tribune Book Review (© I.H.T. Corporation; reprinted by permission); June 6, 1954, p. 11.

Learned T. Bulman

The combination of unskilled driver and car is one of man's most dangerous weapons. Too few drivers understand the simple scientific principles on which a car operates or have had proper driving instruction. In "Driving Today and Tomorrow" Margaret O. Hyde … explains with admirable clarity the mechanics of the automobile, and its maintenance and discusses safe driving methods, the causes of accidents and ways to avoid them. This is a fine book for a beginning driver to read before he—or she—gets behind the wheel.

Learned T. Bulman, "Driving and Riding," in The New York Times Book Review (© 1954 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), June 6, 1954, p. 35.∗

Alfred D. Beck

Young people-and adults too-will find "Atoms Today and Tomorrow" informative, accurate and unexpectedly pleasant reading. Unlike so many books on atomic energy, this one does not foster fear and frustration. There are no pictures of menacing mushroom clouds, blasted buildings and pathetically maimed humans. [The text tells] an up-to-the-minute story of the many peacetime uses of atomic energy.

Mrs. Hyde discusses frankly the serious hazards of working with radioactive materials, but she stresses the elaborate safe-guards provided to all workers…. An important contribution of this book may be the encouragement of young people to enter careers in atomic industries and professions.

Alfred D. Beck, "For Younger Readers: 'Atoms Today and Tomorrow'," in The New York Times Book Review (© 1955 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), August 28, 1955, p. 16.

Virginia Kirkus' Service

Margaret Hyde's books on driving, flight and atoms have made her a name in the teen-age non-fiction field. [Where Speed Is King, written with Edwin Hyde,] covers a concept through activities that have come to denote all kinds of speed. The fields where speed is king include running; skiing; car, horse and boat racing; homing pigeons; cycling; flight and so forth. Incidents both typical and well known,—for example, a description of the Landy-Bannister race in Vancouver or of Col. Stapp's physical endurance tests for rocket travel experiments, are efficiently told. They are the direct manifestations of speed, but they also serve to illustrate the more indirect—how endurance must be achieved through years of...

(The entire section is 153 words.)

Virginia Kirkus' Service

A creditable survey of the medical field and its various professions, [Medicine in Action] keeps up a record for good nonfiction and provides young interests with an efficient introduction to the world of doctoring and maintaining health. Chapter topics vary as widely as the field itself. There is a study of the teamwork necessary to perform an operation. Information about types of doctors and other medical jobs should help with career decisions. Military medicine, lab research, the miracle drugs, mental health, industrial hygiene, nursing, international health organizations—material on these and more illuminates the topic…. A valuable roundup.

"Twelve to Sixteen:...

(The entire section is 113 words.)

Frank G. Slaughter

The major portion of this excellent book on the world of medicine ["Medicine in Action"] is devoted to discussing [medical] careers and how a young person may prepare for them. The author has devoted a chapter, in many cases, to each category and at the end of the book has summarized in a set of tables the many careers that do not require the long and arduous preparation necessary to become a surgeon or a medical specialist.

This is an extremely valuable and informative book for vocational guidance, as well as an instructive one for the general reader who wants to know more about the team of which the doctor is the captain.

Frank G. Slaughter, "Science Books...

(The entire section is 142 words.)

John M. Connole

The many ways in which modern science has revolutionized the art of warfare are graphically described in ["From Submarines to Satellites: Science in Our Armed Forces"]…. It is a safe bet that even those who have followed newspaper accounts of what has been happening recently in the field of weapon research and spatial experimentation will find material here that will be new.

Margaret O. Hyde writes about developments in all branches of the service…. She is especially good in explaining the complex mechanisms of our various missiles and satellites and the ways in which man is learning to cope with the high speeds, temperatures and weightless environment of outer space.


(The entire section is 139 words.)

Virginia Kirkus' Service

[With "Atoms Today and Tomorrow" Margaret Hyde] writes an explicit and pertinent account of the atom, its dangers and potentials. Based on the hypothesis that man is now confronted with the choice of how and to what extent atomic energy should be used, this text presents a clear and informative exposition of what, so far, is being done and to what one may look in the future. An exceedingly difficult topic is handled here with admirable clarity and impartiality in this text which is as morally challenging as it is scientifically precise.

"'Atoms Today and Tomorrow'," in Virginia Kirkus' Service, Vol. XXVI, No. 23, December 1, 1958, p. 873.

(The entire section is 105 words.)

George A. Woods

["Off Into Space! Science for Young Space Travelers"] simulates an outward-bound venture. Mrs. Hyde concentrates more on scientific principles and offers experiments for the reader to conduct so that he might get some idea of the complexity of the problems space travelers will encounter. She keeps her text brisk and interesting throughout. This book … will encourage children to look forward to and be prepared for tomorrow's age of space.

George A. Woods, "Outward-Bound," in The New York Times Book Review (© 1959 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), August 2, 1959, p. 24.∗

(The entire section is 91 words.)

Herbert Deutsch

[Plants Today and Tomorrow is a fascinating] exposition of the contributions of plants and plant products to the medical and economic advancement of mankind. Not as extensive as the recent Bertha S. Dodge's "Plants That Changed the World," but written in simpler wordage, thorough, interesting, and well-organized. Tells where plants grow, the different sizes, shapes, and varieties, photosynthesis, reproductive processes, plant breeding, and discoveries of such medicinal products as penicillin and streptomycin. Lengthy discussion about the important roles of plants in a space ship to supply oxygen and food and to get rid of carbon dioxide. Last section of the book suggests experiments in seed germination,...

(The entire section is 152 words.)

Virginia Kirkus' Service

The fascinating phenomenon of animal time telling and direction finding is described in [Animal Clocks and Compasses] which should interest even the most indifferent students of animal, fish, bird and insect behavior. How herons determine the changing of tides, how pigeons find their homes, how crabs tell time, these and many other examples of the keen intuitive mechanisms that govern non-human life are illustrated. Margaret Hyde provides the reader with the possibility of observing animal clocks and compasses himself, by providing him with suggestions of where to watch and how. [This] is an invitation to an intriguing and educational hobby.

"Eleven to Thirteen: 'Animal...

(The entire section is 116 words.)

New York Herald Tribune Book Review

"Plants Today and Tomorrow" is so interesting for anyone over eleven that we hope it will not be read by budding scientists alone. It reports on the challenge to scientists in the mysteries of the plant world, on the effort to increase the nourishment that comes to man from the meadows of the sea, to find new and valuable crops in different parts of the world, to hasten mutations by radiation, to discover cures for diseases, effective hormones and the effects of a controlled climate on plants. The book ends with the most important question of the means to feed "tomorrow's hungry world," experimental space gardens, a few sample experiments and reference to many useful books.


(The entire section is 141 words.)

Virginia Haviland

[Miss Hyde compiles fascinating nature information in Animal Clocks and Compasses, From Animal Migration to Space Travel,] which combines much of what is given in Will Barker's Wintersleeping Wild Life … and Sigmund Lavine's Strange Travelers …, both excellent studies. Hers is equally authoritative and lively and goes beyond obvious facts of hibernation and migration to the why and how of living clocks—timing by tide, light, animal radar or echo-location—suggesting possible use of the principle of hibernation for man in spaceships, and outlining science projects based on observation of earthworms, frogs, flies, and birds. (pp. 65-6)


(The entire section is 127 words.)

Virginia Kirkus' Service

A prolific "future directed" author well known for … lucid scientific books … focuses now on our own planet and its incredible population explosion, and how scientists are preparing to tap new channels in order to overcome the startling imbalance between people and resources [in This Crowded Planet]. We first "look to the earth", then the sea, and finally to the sky, and watch ingenious ideas take shape as all three areas are probed for the food, minerals and energy necessary for life…. Realistic, yet optimistic, this is a timely and worthwhile summary of man's struggle with his environment.

"Thirteen to Fifteen: 'This Crowded Planet'," in Virginia Kirkus'...

(The entire section is 112 words.)

Alice Dalgliesh

In [the closely packed but interesting pages of "This Crowded Planet"] young people will find the answer to the question "Why do we help to feed undernourished countries?"… One feels pushed off the earth by overcrowding while reading the first chapters; fortunately, a number of projected solutions follow, some of them seeming at the present time fantastic indeed. The author mentions birth control as only a partial answer and contrary to the religious beliefs of some.

In conclusion she challenges young people to accept responsibility for these problems; "there is no time to wait for tomorrow," she says. But, except for forming opinions, there seems little they can do but wait.


(The entire section is 137 words.)

Robert C. Cowen

With the help of explanatory sketches and diagrams, the author has undertaken to acquaint teenage readers with the molecular world [in "Molecules Today and Tomorrow."] She has succeeded well in making complicated phenomena and chemical manipulations understandable and interesting. This is a level at which matter is being harnessed in countless ways for the benefit of mankind. It is the level of fundamental action for many of the material phenomena that affect everyday living. The book covers the gamut of all these, including extensive exposition of molecular medicine, pathological viruses and the fast-growing knowledge of basic genetics. A chapter on simple illustrative experiments one can try out at home is a...

(The entire section is 157 words.)

Margaret Sherwood Libby

Margaret Hyde has the ability to discuss new developments in science simply and interestingly so that a little information is conveyed and also, what is more important, curiosity is aroused so that a brighter student will go on to more detailed study….

[In "Molecules Today and Tomorrow," the] introductory chapter defining molecules presumes rather too much knowledge on the reader's part, and we are afraid many will read the book thinking of molecules as somehow indistinguishable from microorganisms. However, after this, the exposition is more carefully developed, emphasizing the constant motion of molecules (with experiments to demonstrate this) and the amazing discoveries resulting from the...

(The entire section is 158 words.)

Isadora Kunitz

While emphasizing the contribution of psychology to understanding human behavior and improving human relations, [Margaret O. Hyde and Edward S. Marks, the authors of Psychology in Action,] cover various therapeutic methods: testing, experimental psychology, perception and learning, and the psychological effects of the space age. Some of the clearest writing is about clinical psychologists and counselors. Examples of questions young people ask about themselves will strike a responsive chord in many adolescents, e.g. "How do you find your real self?" "Are you normal if you have not found yourself?" Social psychologists and their studies of both Negro and white attitudes toward each other are presented, and there...

(The entire section is 167 words.)

Robert W. O'Connell

Amateur psychology is a universal hobby if not an avocation in this day and age. Disagreeable acquaintances are now called "sick" or "paranoid" by those who would discredit an adversary and at the same time appear both charitable (condescending) and informed. "Psychology in Action" fills the obvious gap which exists between the frivolous use of this terminology and its actual meaning. More important, it describes the dimensions and functions of psychology and psychologists in layman's terms. It not only defines the popular but poorly understood terminology, but shows clearly the triumphs and limitations of this inexact science….

Possibly too much space is allocated to testing and test...

(The entire section is 166 words.)

Louis Lasagna

["Mind Drugs"] is an attempt to provide some facts for those interested in drug abuse. It is reasonably short, but not superficial. The style is "popular" (in the nonpejorative sense), but should not offend the sensibilities of the intelligent reader, young or old. Its facts are, so far as I can tell, generally correct.

The contributors are a mixed lot: four psychiatrists, two psychologists, and a young doctor who has been medical director of the hippie clinic in the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco. Mrs. Hyde (who doubles as editor and author of three of the chapters) is not only a professional writer but a teacher and a director of the Northeast Mental Health Clinic of Philadelphia.


(The entire section is 337 words.)

Science Books

The intent of [Atoms Today and Tomorrow] is to give "young readers" … some familiarity with peacetime uses of atomic energy. The treatment is broad but superficial. Written in a familiar, colloquial style, the book is descriptive rather than explanatory. We are told, for example, that health physicists use instruments called "Cutie Pie" and "Pee Wee"—but not what they are used for nor how they work. On the credit side, [Margaret O. Hyde and Bruce G. Hyde] do cover a wide variety of applications and mention both sides of the controversies about the safety of nuclear power stations, and the effects of low dosage of radiation. There is virtually no mention of military applications—a fact that this reviewer...

(The entire section is 148 words.)

Ben Ianzito

[Your Skin is an] acceptable basic presentation of skin design, function and hygiene in 13 short chapters, interspersed with sound health advice on everything from athlete's foot to vitiligo. Unfortunately, this is not as well organized or comprehensive as Dr. Brauer's Your Skin and Hair: a Basic Guide to Care and Beauty…. The author has allotted only seven pages to acne, a minor disease of major concern to most of the young adolescents who will be attracted to this book…. [The] writing is clear and concise, without becoming clinical and dull.

Ben Ianzito, "'Your Skin'," in School Library Journal, an appendix to Library Journal (reprinted from the...

(The entire section is 126 words.)

Science Books

A far better text is still needed, but this short book [Your Skin] by an experienced science writer has mirrored adequately some conservative medical advice about common skin diseases and some of the science which underlies this advice. The book has an easy-reading quality, is brief, and the better chapters on skin language, burns, temperature control, sports, and beauty care make it just acceptable for high school readers. The flaws are many. The book offers far too much outdated medical opinion, and fails to indicate the new methods of research, new discoveries about the skin, and the emergence of many better medical practices. Chapter headings are well chosen, but the selection of further detail is blemished...

(The entire section is 194 words.)

Science Books

[For Pollution Fighters Only] is a fine primer for citizen action aimed at amelioration of environmental pollution. Mrs. Hyde has easily and coherently introduced the base concepts of spaceship earth—the interrelatedness of everything in a finite, essentially closed system. Her seven-page treatment of the life-support system of the biosphere is as good as this reviewer has seen for this audience. Subsequent chapters deal with individual pollution problems…. Final chapters treat examples of community efforts to fight pollution, suggestions for positive action by any individual or community group, and private and public sources of information and political response to articulated needs. Most impressive is a...

(The entire section is 190 words.)

Ronald J. Kley

[For Pollution Fighters Only] is well written, well organized, and offers an excellent summary of today's outstanding problems in the area of environmental pollution: yet it leaves much to be desired in its approach to the solution of these problems. The text emphasizes the complexity of ecological relationships, and offers examples of well-intentioned "improvements" that have been far outweighed by their long-term negative effects; yet the book offers several rather simplistic suggestions for "pollution fighters" without attempting to evaluate their potential negative side effects…. Perhaps most unfortunate, in terms of the book's overall purpose and approach, is the fact that self-education is nowhere...

(The entire section is 209 words.)

Richard H. Weller

[Flight Today and Tomorrow] is a broad and cursory whirlwind tour through aviation…. Crammed with facts and little anecdotes, apparently to keep the story moving, skims the tops of numerous waves but never seems to get its feet wet. [It] appears to be primarily a rewrite and a "brought-up-to-date-version of the original '53 edition." Although primarily accurate and broad in scope, it lacks verve, imagination, and "punch."

Richard H. Weller, "'Flight Today and Tomorrow'," in Appraisal: Science Books for Young People (copyright © 1972 by the Children's Science Book Review Committee), Vol. 5, No. 1, Winter, 1972, p. 20.

(The entire section is 93 words.)

Kirkus Reviews

The authors [of Mysteries of the Mind] clear up no mysteries in this slack, simplistic treatment of already overexploited topics. After an introductory chapter on neurons and synapses that establishes a tone of scientific respectability come discussions of sleep and dreams, witchcraft, hypnosis and ESP in which about all that we haven't heard many times over are either beside the psychic point (as are the examples of African witch doctors' cunning) or insufficiently documented (the intriguing attribution of the absence of violence among certain Malayan tribesmen to their application of Freudian-like dream interpretation). Worse however are the chapters on advertising and brainwashing: the former (entitled...

(The entire section is 261 words.)

A. C. Haman

[Mysteries of the Mind is a] clear, scientific exploration of such psychic phenomena as sleep, persuasion, brainwashing, superstition, hypnotic states, extra sensory perception, stress and trances. The chapters on extra sensory perception and hypnosis are particularly well done…. [The] psychological aspects of the mind [are] treated here. This book will appeal to a wide audience of young readers interested in psychic phenomena, witchcraft, and mysticism.

A. C. Haman, "'Mysteries of the Mind'," in School Library Journal, an appendix to Library Journal (reprinted from the February, 1973 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co./A...

(The entire section is 104 words.)

Publishers Weekly

[The frightening statistics of venereal disease victims] make the reader wish that every young person would read ["VD: The Silent Epidemic"] and absorb its messages. The author proves that all kinds of social diseases are rampant despite comparative ease and availability of treatment. She tells how to avoid infection, how people are infected, how dangerous it is to neglect treatment and where cures can be had…. The book is encouraging. It proves that teenagers, doctors and public health officials are taking part in the fight against the silent menace.

"Children's Books: 'VD: The Silent Epidemic'," in Publishers Weekly (reprinted from the May 14, 1973, issue of...

(The entire section is 125 words.)

Science Books

Hyde's factual approach to venereal disease [in V.D.: The Silent Epidemic] avoids scare tactics and preaching and provides a very readable account for young people or even those who are older. The major venereal diseases, their symptoms and modes of spread are accurately described in a manner useful to one who fears he or she has contracted VD…. The information provided should also help readers avoid contracting VD. Brief summaries of control methods and research programs are presented. Intelligent parents should encourage their children to become familiar with the information in this book, and it is a good supplementary source for physical education and hygiene courses.


(The entire section is 130 words.)

Sonia Brotman

Poorly written, The New Genetics takes an inherently fascinating subject and makes it uninteresting and confusing. Genetic research from Gregor Mendel's peas to J. B. Gurdon's artificial cloning is traced and explained; unfortunately, the explanations are far from clear. Main ideas are lost in myriads of irrelevant facts; constant use of clichés (e.g., "ivory towers of science") and superlatives obfuscate the true impressiveness of genetic advances…. [The] writing is awkward and repetitive. An index, suggestions for further reading, and a list of organizations with special interest in the new genetics (e.g. American Diabetes Association) are perhaps the only worth-while sections of this disappointing book....

(The entire section is 131 words.)

Robert J. Stein

The New Genetics is a book for advanced junior high or high school students. While the account is well written and complete in its survey of the recent advances in genetics, the material is inherently too complex for young readers…. The book includes interesting chapters on human genetic diseases and genetic testing techniques, the significance of tissue culture in diagnosis of genetic defects, and artificial insemination procedures. Throughout the book the author makes reference to the ethics involved in these research efforts and points to ways in which this work can help mankind. The attitude the author creates is one of thoughtful concern for the future of genetic engineering. There are only minor errors...

(The entire section is 170 words.)

Dolores King

[Hotline is an] introduction to telephone hotlines, which serve as sources of information, solace, help with crises or long-term problems, or referral for more help. Hyde discusses the proliferation during the late '60's and early '70's of volunteer-run hotlines, often arising out of drug abuse or suicide prevention programs. She describes types of hotlines; how calls are handled; how hotline staffs are trained; and how to organize and fund a hotline. There is an extensive "National Directory of Hotline Services" arranged by state and city; however, hotlines are born and die so frequently that any list is always out of date. A good starting point for YA's working on hotlines as well as those who need to make...

(The entire section is 152 words.)

Sonia Brotman

In attempting to discuss man's basic emotions and explain them for young people, [Margaret O. Hyde and Elizabeth Forsyth's] Know Your Feelings fails to be more than an unexceptional survey, a rather boring coverage of a potentially exciting subject…. Each [feeling] is defined insofar as it can be; scientific research into it is mentioned; and situations where it arises are discussed, unfortunately in an overly obvious, uninteresting way. Psychological terms are frequently used without sufficient explanation; clichés do nothing to add to the undistinguished writing style. One chapter devoted to changing awareness attempts to interest readers in meditation and biofeedback, but it, too, fails to explore the...

(The entire section is 136 words.)

Anne E. Matthews

Know Your Feelings is an excellent book that skillfully deals with the delicate subject of emotions. It should provide useful understanding for the young adolescent. Particularly valuable is the discussion of fear and anxiety: "sometimes used interchangeably, their meanings are different." This style of comparison and contrast used throughout the book is very effective in discussion…. It should hold the interest of students while guiding them in understanding their own feelings.

Anne E. Matthews, "'Know Your Feelings'," in Appraisal: Science Books for Young People (copyright © 1975 by the Children's Science Book Review Committee), Vol. 8, No. 3, Fall, 1975, p....

(The entire section is 96 words.)

Cynthia Johnson

What Have You Been Eating? is an inappropriately specific title for such a general book. In fact, in addition to covering food composition and food additives, [Margaret O. Hyde and Elizabeth Held Forsyth] discuss the digestive system, food history, food customs, world food supply, and various plans for combatting starvation now and in the future. The breadth of the subject and the brevity of the book impose a cursory and superficial coverage of each topic. A lack of structure makes it difficult to locate information without reading the entire book. The style is awkward and condescending. Students will already have covered much of the information in basic science and geography courses. Not recommended.


(The entire section is 139 words.)

Monica Carollo

Information on the food we eat is tightly packed into the eight chapters of this encompassing book [What Have You Been Eating? Do You Really Know?]. In clear prose, [Hyde and Forsyth] attempt to dispel myths and fallacies about food while bringing current scientific thought on the subject to light. Not only do the authors thus hope to answer questions but also to stimulate consumer awareness of food. To this end, there is also a discussion of food fads, food additives, obesity, digestion, organic foods, and alternative sources of food for a hungry world. Although the breadth of coverage is too wide to allow for in-depth treatment of each of these topics, this might well serve as a consciousness raiser.


(The entire section is 159 words.)

Kirkus Reviews

As usual Hyde has done a good deal of research and very little in the way of organization or analysis [for Speak Out On Rape!]. Conclusions are even scarcer, though that might be only prudent here where she repeatedly refers to the inconclusiveness of research to date. Feminist assertions that rape is an outgrowth of our sexist society and that much preventive advice restricts women's rightful freedom are mentioned without endorsement or rejection; and unlike [Susan] Brownmiller's more polemical Against Our Will (1975), which asserts that rapists are motivated by power needs and that victims should fight back, Hyde leaves both questions open and compiles no profile of the typical attacker, though she...

(The entire section is 248 words.)

Rhoda E. Taylor

Unlike some current feminist writers, Hyde does not treat rape as a political action or as class warfare between the sexes [in Speak Out on Rape!]; rather she treats it as a violent crime of assault assuming epidemic proportions and involving all of society. The author examines some of the myths concerning rapists and their victims (i.e., that women generally provoke rape), reasons why many rapes are never reported, medical and psychological needs of the victim and the antiquated but changing legal procedures wherein the victim often becomes the criminal defending her honor and rapist more often than not is set free. Many questions are raised but few are answered, primarily because so little is known—a point...

(The entire section is 173 words.)


A prolific author of books for young people reviews the quality of American juvenile justice and its response to increasing youth crime [in Juvenile Justice and Injustice]. Punctuating her discussion with sample case studies, Hyde surveys the early history of the current system; describes punishment inconsistencies, some stemming from confusion about the meaning of the term delinquency itself; looks at the system's reaction to female delinquents and youth gangs; and paints a grim picture of problems juveniles face in courts overburdened by less serious, status offenders (runaways, truants, etc.) and plagued by insufficient staff and rising costs. A look at some current state and federal efforts to improve...

(The entire section is 144 words.)

Zena Sutherland

[Brainwashing and Other Forms of Mind Control] is a serious discussion of various approaches to behavior shaping…. Hyde discusses religious cults, behavior modification in prisons, and legal precedents as well as theories of behavior shaping, hypnosis, therapy, meditation, and political brainwashing. The text is thoughtful and objective, the writing style straightforward, the topic one that should appeal to a large audience.

Zena Sutherland, "New Titles for Children and Young People: 'Brainwashing and Other Forms of Mind Control'," in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (reprinted by permission of The University of Chicago Press: © 1977 by the University...

(The entire section is 103 words.)

Zena Sutherland

In [her] detailed discussion of the laws and practices that apply to minors in the United States [Juvenile Justice and Injustice], Hyde is objective about inadequacies, critical in evaluating programs, and realistic in describing possible solutions. However, the material is not as well organized as it has been in her earlier books…. (pp. 96-7)

Zena Sutherland, "New Titles for Children and Young People: 'Juvenile Justice and Injustice'," in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (reprinted by permission of The University of Chicago Press: © 1978 by the University of Chicago), Vol. 31, No. 6, February, 1978, pp. 96-7.

(The entire section is 94 words.)

Paula Hogan

[Brainwashing and Other Forms of Mind Control is an] objective, well-researched account of the sociological effects of behavior modification which complements Elizabeth Hall's discussion of the psychological aspects of "be mod" in From Pigeons to People: a Look at Behavior Shaping…. Hyde discusses the benefits as well as the possible abuses of behavior control, psychosurgery, biofeedback, hypnosis, and commercial mind control courses. The motivation for membership in religious cults and the theory behind brainwashing techniques are explained…. [Over] all, this provides clear and timely information on an area of psychology that is of particular interest to teens.


(The entire section is 133 words.)


Taking a broad definition of addiction [in Addictions: Gambling, Smoking, Cocaine Use, and Others], Hyde presents a well-researched, across-the-board treatment that includes cigarettes, gambling, food (over- and underindulging), caffeine, cocaine and amphetamines, alcohol, barbiturates, and heroin. For each she provides up-to-date information on the characteristics of an addict, scientific research, and other aspects pertinent to the individual problem. She also explores the marijuana controversy, noting that addiction is apparently one of the less important issues and reporting on research into physical and psychological effects. She concludes with a look at positive addiction—jogging, cycling, and...

(The entire section is 135 words.)


[Suicide: The Hidden Epidemic is] a solid examination of one of the major causes of death in America—suicide. Emphasizing the complex, controversial nature of their subject, the collaborators [Margaret O. Hyde and Elizabeth Held Forsyth] (a reliable author of books for young people and a practicing child psychiatrist) discuss the misconceptions surrounding it, describe suicidal patterns, simplify principal causation theories, and explain some of the psychological factors that may motivate the act. Broader in scope than [Francine] Klagsbrun's Too Young to Die: Youth and Suicide …, Hyde and Forsyth's treatment still singles out teenage suicide for special attention in a separate chapter, while sections...

(The entire section is 168 words.)

Zena Sutherland

More and more heavy drinkers are people under twenty; more and more accidents that are fatal and are caused by drinking have people under twenty as victims; the number of children who are drinking is increasing. Hyde does not preach [in Know About Alcohol]; she explains why people drink, why they are affected in different ways and at different rates. She describes the effects of alcohol on the body and suggests some ways in which alcoholics can be identified, and she gives information about organizations that help alcoholics. One chapter poses problems and gives multiple choice answers for questions of personal decision such as what to do if one is a baby sitter and a drunken parent offers a ride home, or if...

(The entire section is 198 words.)

Kathryn Weisman

Alcohol's use, abuse and effects on the body are discussed in [Know About Alcohol]…. The author emphasizes her feeling that knowing the facts about alcohol (if they are presented in an unbiased manner) will help young people to make intelligent decisions; a section of hypothetical situations involving young people and alcohol is included, along with discussions of possible ways to handle them…. Hyde's book is … a good choice.

Kathryn Weisman, "'Know about Alcohol'," in School Library Journal (reprinted from the March, 1979 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co./ A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1979), Vol. 25, No. 7, March,...

(The entire section is 100 words.)

Robert J. Stein

[Suicide, the Hidden Epidemic is a] thorough, well-written, well-organized, well-documented account of the theories about suicide, and the patterns of thought that characterize the suicidal person. It is made clear, at the outset, that reading or talking about suicide does not cause one to commit suicide. In fact, it is the premise of this detailed book, that understanding the suicidal mind may help to prevent attempted suicides. Ten chapters containing case history illustrations and diagnostic clues guide the reader to understand the psychological profiles of suicidal persons, the attitudes that promote suicidal behavior, statistics and research findings. An excellent selection of suggested readings is...

(The entire section is 166 words.)

Paul Leung

Is addiction a matter of chemistry, social learning, or a basic human deficiency? This has been a question of concern and a matter of controversy for some time. While Addictions will not put the problem to rest, it is an excellent introduction to the concept of addictive behavior. Hyde's basic premise is that cigarette smoking, compulsive gambling, coffee drinking, food intake, and even jogging are similar, and that we should encourage positive addictions while discouraging undesirable ones. The weakness of the book is the inconsistent content, with some chapters more complete than others which are quite superficial. For example, alcohol, barbiturates, and tranquilizers are treated in one chapter. There is also...

(The entire section is 182 words.)

Robin Siner

The problem of nuclear wastes is the subject of much controversy today and tomorrow. In [Everyone's Trash Problem: Nuclear Wastes, Margaret O. Hyde and Bruce Hyde] present the reader with concise information that compels the learner to form an opinion of the nuclear analysis. The authors explain the specific chemical and physical process that must occur in order to release nuclear energy, and the controversy between the throwaway fuel cycle of the radioactive atoms and recycling spent fuel of nuclear wastes. The Hydes state the variety of radioactive wastes and then submit to the reader the diverse possibilities that nuclear researchers have considered to answer the nuclear waste problem. The information given...

(The entire section is 154 words.)

Denise M. Wilms

[My Friend Wants to Run Away] directs itself to runaways or their friends who want to help them. Hyde loosely follows several case histories representative of common runaway motivations—family problems, pregnancy, sexual abuse, alcoholism in the home, or simply being unwanted—with an aim to show that the street is not the place to be and that help is available through hotline systems that protect privacy and arrange for temporary shelter and counseling. The tone is young and the slant somewhat overly positive in that the case histories cited often end satisfactorily. Arnold Rubin's The Youngest Outlaws … offers more depth and reality; but for junior high-level students facing such situations, this...

(The entire section is 155 words.)

Janet B. Wojnaroski

The second edition of [Margaret O. Hyde and Bruce G. Hyde's] Know About Drugs revises and updates the original title (1972), containing much more material than was first presented. In clear detail, the authors examine drug use and abuse, paying attention to cocaine, heroin, and the current favorite, PCP. Without moralizing, they frequently use a story-telling technique to emphasize the psychological factors. The scope is broad but inclusive….

Janet B. Wojnaroski, "'Know about Drugs'," in School Library Journal (reprinted from the March, 1980, issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co./ A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1980), Vol. 26,...

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Floyd D. Jury

Unfortunately, information about the disposal of radioactive wastes has been highly technical and difficult to evaluate. The authors [of Everyone's Trash Problem: Nuclear Wastes] have done an outstanding job of stripping away the mystery and technical jargon to explain the essence of the problem, why it exists and what can be done about it. Without trying to bias the reader either for or against nuclear power, the authors simply provide the basic education needed to intelligently discuss the issue so that readers can investigate further and make up their own minds. The book contains an excellent glossary that will help readers better understand the terminology used in the literature today. In addition, there is...

(The entire section is 175 words.)


Hyde, the author of Juvenile Justice and Injustice … broadens her scope considerably [in Crime and Justice in Our Time] as she explores crime and the justice system in more general terms, touching on everything from prison reform, history, and common sense crime prevention tactics to gun control. Though her wide-ranging treatment yields a somewhat diluted view, Hyde still evidences a knack for culling significant information and presenting it in an accessible, thought-provoking manner. Her overview capably introduces current theories about criminal behavior (Is there a criminal type? Why do people commit crimes?), analyzes some of the principal controversies and inequities surrounding punishment, and...

(The entire section is 150 words.)

Joan L. Dobson

The vocabulary in Hyde's [My Friend Wants to Run Away] is aimed at the middle elementary grades but the examples of sexual abuse are more appropriate to an older age group. The chapter subheadings—"Cathy Ran in Fear," "Jennie: Alone and Pregnant," "Marci Had a Funny Uncle," and "Bob Ran Away to Have More Fun"—are suggestive of slick magazines. In most instances the solutions are too pat. Readers are introduced to Cathy, Marci and company in the first chapter and then must hunt for their stories in later chapters.

Joan L. Dobson, "'My Friend Wants to Run Away'," in School Library Journal (reprinted from the October, 1980 issue of School Library Journal,...

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Publishers Weekly

Hyde's clear, unsensationalized and documented report ["Cry Softly! The Story of Child Abuse"] on a terrible social problem really should be studied by every boy and girl as soon as he or she can read; it ought not be available just to teens and subteens. "Cry softly," warn adults who batter children, so that the neighbors won't hear, a command usually obeyed for fear of worse hurts. The author shows that the physical and mental mistreatment of minors (including babies) happens in families of all social strata and describes some of the causes…. This book can bring a shameful secret into the light where it can be dealt with.

"Children's Books: 'Cry Softly! The Story of Child...

(The entire section is 148 words.)

Zena Sutherland

[In Cry Softly! The Story of Child Abuse] Hyde discusses the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children by adults, primarily by parents, and cites the statistics of known cases as evidence of the fact that child abuse is growing in the United States; she also gives historical material about child abuse, with separate chapters on abusive practices in England and the United States. While the material is not as carefully organized as in most of Hyde's books, the text gives a great deal of information, not only about child abuse practices, but also about how to recognize cases of it, what the reader can do to report such cases, what kinds of help can be given battered children and abusive parents, what...

(The entire section is 198 words.)