BILL AND HIS NEIGHBORS by Lois Fisher

BILL AND HIS NEIGHBORS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lois Fisher's books on social institutions have always been characterized by intelligence, humor and mature judgment. Unfortunately, in this book on the sources, character and results of prejudices, a subject which demands a direct and serious treatment, the presentation is overburdened with whimsy. The students of Blossomville High School see the growth of prejudice when one of the students, frustrated in his attempt to win a drawing contest presided over by mustache-wearing judges, transfers his antagonism to all those wearing mustaches and their families. Other students find a release for their major and minor frustrations in a group hatred against the mustache-wearers. Only when the school unity threatens to dissolve, do the students gather in a Crab Session to analyse the situation. In these meetings the students discover the basic and destructive elements of prejudice related to their own experiences. This section may be valuable in junior high and high schools as a model for informal discussions of social problems. The material here is sound, factual and entertaining and the author's drawings are delightful. However, young people may well resent the somewhat condescending device of the mustache-wearers and the circling-around-the-subject.

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 1950
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin