WITH AN OPEN HAND by Marietta D. Moskin


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Two's company, three's a crowd""...sometimes: Jennie, Judy and Jane resolve their relationship but the tripartite plot--treasure hunt, community service and personal problems--is weakened by its un-common concerns. Jennie and Judy are best friends until Jane comes along with a more appealing idea--helping others--than Jennie's--hunting for historical artifacts--for the new club that the girls are forming. Judy supports Jane, Jennie withdraws in jealousy and breaks with Judy. Left on her own, Jennie pursues historical clues at the local antiquarian society, and finds a map indicating that treasure was buried nearby during the Revolution. Meanwhile, the Volunteers flourish, even enlisting three boys who previously ""had paid little attention to the female contingency."" A near-disaster to Jane's crippled mother sets the boys to digging, and they turn up a treasure; the treasure turns out to be the wrong treasure, but it provides the right answer for Jane and her mother, who are enabled to remain in the old house. The disaster sets the stage also for a reconciliation between Jennie and Judy, and the decision to include the Historical Society among the Volunteers' pet projects. Jennie's relationship with Judy--her conflicting feelings, her confession of selfishness--is well-handled, but the course of the treasure hunt--from faded print to the front page--is marked by coincidence and cliche. (Maybe Jennie read too many of those Nancy Drew books from the library.) The illustrations, by Ann Grifalconi, add nothing.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1966
Publisher: John Day