Mary Stolz Margaret C. Scoggin - Essay

Margaret C. Scoggin

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Mary Stolz is quite at the top of those writing for and about today's teen-agers. She gives them to us with all their faults and perplexities, as real as the next-door neighbors. She never provides a conventional happy ending for she knows that the best endings (or beginnings) come when her characters change what they can and accept what they must—when, in short, they grow up.

The setting [of "Rosemary"] is a college community where high school graduates split into two groups, those who do not go on to college and those who do…. Into a former group comes Sam Lyons, college senior…. It is Sam who sets in motion conversations and events which give each of [the] young people a change of perspective.

The matter is serious but the touch is deft and light. "Rosemary" is an outstanding junior novel. (p. 10)

Margaret C. Scoggin, in New York Herald Tribune Book Review (© I.H.T. Corporation; reprinted by permission), November 13, 1955.

Dody [in Pray Love, Remember] is in some ways a realistic character, and many of her problems will be recognized by teen-age girls as similar to their own. The character of Stephen Roth, the boy who dies, is less skillfully handled and the reader is left with the feeling that his death was brought in as much to give the author a solution to the religious problem which his and Dody's love affair would have raised as it was to give Dody a chance to exercise her new-found maturity. The other characters vary in quality of development from obvious stereotypes to well-rounded individuals. The plot development is quite weak. (p. 55)

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (published by the University of Chicago), December, 1955.