Kirkus Star


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To those who found rich rewards in Request of Wings, this will come as a valuable extension of her search into the factors for growth that are an older child's-through books, museums, religion and a healthy emulation of the search for truth. With her own children older now- the boy about ten, the girl fifteen- Miss Duff concentrates on these ages and the years between. Central to her theme is the complex matter of wisdom and virtue. How can we expect our children to be wise by limiting their access to knowledge; how can we expect them to be virtuous by exposing them to moral issues whose context they cannot yet understand and hence deal with rationally? Characteristically there is no pat answer to this, but a delicate probing of paths whose routes harmonize one with another. Important too are the excitements of recognition and realization achieved through books and knowledge- the moment when first words are actually read, the thrill of seeing a familiar statue in a museum, the working rather than doctrinaire faith of religion, the hunger in the teens to know how adults live and its satisfaction. Thoughtful, humorous (Ulysses a classic? Heck no! Those are real adventures!) these essays are also carefully balanced writing in themselves and of prime value to all parents who would enrich their own experience as well as their children's.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1955
Publisher: Viking