Early on [in Kathleen, Please Come Home] Kathleen, just 15, becomes engaged to a young wetback who warns her against the drugs friend Sybil is so free with. But Ramon is arrested and later killed in a raid, and when Kathleen realizes that it was her concerned, English-teacher mother who turned him in, she accepts Sybil's invitation to take off for Mexico … The two girls split when Kathleen learns that she's pregnant by Ramon, but get together again in time for an auto accident that is fatal to both Sybil and Kathleen's unborn baby. (That makes two too many convenient disasters, both of which free Kathleen from commitments.) The end sees Kathleen and Joy, another convalescent druggie, throwing away Sybil's valuable stash of heroin and heading into a straight future. O'Dell undoubtedly knows the scene better than many writers who would warn [young adults] on drugs, but still his social worker's presence can be felt at nearly every turn. Of course this sort of material has an enduring fascination for daydreaming stay-at-homes. (pp. 311-12)
A review of "Kathleen, Please Come Home," in Kirkus Reviews, Vol. XLVI, No. 6, March 15, 1978, pp. 311-12.