Mary Stolz Richard S. Alm - Essay

Richard S. Alm

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Mary Stolz, surely the most versatile and most skilled of [the writers who followed Maureen Daly, but did not imitate her], writes not for the masses who worship Sue Barton Barry [married name of the heroine of Sue Barton, Neighborhood Nurse and the entire series written by Helen Boylston] but for the rarer adolescent who sees in Anne Armacost (To Tell Your Love) a girl of warmth and charm, in love unfortunately with a boy who is afraid to return her love. In a summer of endless days with a telephone which does not ring, Anne slowly understands what has driven Doug away. The poignancy of her losing this first, intense love is a bitter-sweet experience which makes her a little sadder, but a good deal more perceptive of the emotions and reactions of those around her.

The other characters, too, in To Tell Your Love are individuals, not types. In shifting her point of view from one to another and giving an intimate glimpse of the feelings and thoughts of each one, Stolz reveals a talent that few writers have…. Stolz' other novels—In a Mirror, The Seagulls Woke Me, Pray Love, Remember, and Organdy Cupcakes are significant contributions, too, to fiction for the adolescent. In all of them, she tells an engrossing story but, equally important, she presents characters who emerge as sensitively-drawn individuals. (pp. 358-59)

Richard S. Alm, in English Journal (copyright © 1955 by the National Council of Teachers of English), September, 1955 (and reprinted in Readings about Children's Literature, edited by Evelyn Rose Robinson, David McKay Company, Inc., 1966).