CHILDREN WITH EMERALD EYES: Histories of Extraordinary Boys and Girls by Mira Rothenberg

CHILDREN WITH EMERALD EYES: Histories of Extraordinary Boys and Girls

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Rothenberg has worked with Seriously disturbed--Extraordinary--children, and these unsettling case histories will remind readers of the scarred, splintered personalities treated at Bettelheim's Orthogenic School. As director of a day school, residential center, and overnight camp for many years, she has witnessed frightening manifestations of private terrors, some of them responsive to intervention, others virtually intractable. Her portraits, whether brief or extended, capture the urgency and integrity of these children's deviant constructions--obsessions with cats or helicopters or Hitler, adjustments to parental imbalances--and the painful intensity of associating with them. ""I would like most of all to tell people that these children, sane or insane, are part of the human continuum,"" and undeniably she establishes this in her text. With only flickering glimpses of parents, her anecdotal records dramatically penetrate the logical convolutions of the children's defenses and their often tenacious resistance to treatment. But while deploring the fashion of sentimentalizing insanity, she allows the trashy image of the title to represent such children, and often resorts to pulpy mannerisms in her writing--a minor reservation but a persistent one. Nevertheless her ability to recognize fleeting clues and pursue them, to respect these children and restore their ego boundaries, is admirable; parents and professionals can benefit from her observations.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1977
ISBN: 1556434480
Publisher: Dial