Paula Danziger Kirkus Reviews - Essay

Kirkus Reviews

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Ninth-grader Lauren [in Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice?] has a stereotypically impossible father (he rails against his wife going to work part-time; he disowns his college-age daughter for moving in with her boyfriend) and, like other Danziger heroines, she has "typical" concerns which are projected wholly from her shallow perspective…. Her ten-year-old sister Linda is dying for a training bra, so Lauren, remembering how important it was, gives her her old one—in a scene that makes Judy Blume's Margaret [in Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret] seem complex. But Lauren's big problem is the flak she gets from other kids at junior high when she starts dating Zach, who is only in eighth grade and thus infra dig. When an older boy who had jilted her earlier returns complacently, Lauren realizes that she likes Zach and shouldn't worry about what the other kids say. In truth, Zach is a nice kid with some good lines, and Danziger writes fluently. Her superficial slices of suburbia have a facile appeal, but truly hip kids resent the generalized triviality.

"Older Fiction: 'Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice?'" in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1979 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XLVII, No. 11, June 1, 1979, p. 641.