Search Results: "Betsy Byars"


BOOK REVIEW

RAMA THE GYPSY CAT by Betsy Byars
Released: Oct. 17, 1966

"The story is episodic and moody, and the frank approach may rub some readers' fur the wrong way, but objective cat lovers will appreciate this."
Cats are less likely to be centered on in juvenile fiction than dogs, horses, or other loyal animals—the errant Black Beauty way of life is too well suited to their personality. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

CRACKER JACKSON by Betsy Byars
Released: May 1, 1985

"A plot outline of Cracker Jackson might suggest a banal gloss on a trendy problem; but Byars gives Jackson's part in the drama an affecting cast of feeling—never deep or disturbing, but never goopy either, and always within an 11-year-old boy's emotional framework."
A funny children's story dealing with wife abuse doesn't sound promising, but Byars pulls if off with her understanding light touch. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE NIGHT SWIMMERS by Betsy Byars
Released: April 30, 1980

"Byars takes us all into the family, and puts us in touch with the humanity behind the tacky (father), the officious (Retta), and the invisible among us."
Acutely perceptive and crystal clear; deeply attuned to kids' feelings yet cool-eyed and shrewd; and, to boot, a solidly realized story propelled by original, huggably vulnerable characters: This story of a shallow, career-minded country singer's three motherless kids is just what a children's novel should be. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

HORRAY FOR THE GOLLY SISTERS! by Betsy Byars
Released: Sept. 30, 1990

"The events may be a bit tame, but Byars recounts them with engaging wit and pungent precision—and Truesdell's zany characterizations and lively humor almost steal the show."
The self-reliant pair has several more adventures while pursuing their careers as vaudeville entertainers on the American frontier. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE CARTOONIST by Betsy Byars
Released: April 3, 1978

"And through it all shines Alfie's devotion to cartooning—an escape, a compensation, even a symptom, that clearly emerges as a strength."
Alfie's grandfather is becoming senile, his sympathetic older sister is usually working, and his immature, TV-watching mother is chiefly a nuisance to be avoided. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

Released: Sept. 1, 1982

"But Weezie is a touching character, the grandmother a vivid caricature, and Warren's screenplays give him the starch he needs as a character too."
About the daydreams indulged in by Warren, who lives with his grandmother and his older (high-school) sister Weezie because his mother is a fugitive. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE TV KID by Betsy Byars
Released: March 1, 1976

"The snakebite is a jolt of real life in the spirit of Mouse's beating in The Eighteenth Emergency (1973), and it works in the same bracing if limited way—with the punch of a well-developed short story."
Lennie lives with his mother, who manages the Fairy Land Motel, and hides from his failures at school and friendship behind a cloud of TV fantasies, and though he's clearly a sad case there is gusto and imagination in the constantly running mental video tape in which he projects himself as the hapless contestant on Give It a Spin or the hero in a new western, protecting a toothless old dragon from charges of sheep killing. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE NOT-JUST-ANYBODY FAMILY by Betsy Byars
Released: April 4, 1986

"Not just anybody, the Blossoms should be greeted with wholehearted enthusiasm."
Another wonderfully ebullient tale from Byars about ordinary children whose courage and perseverance lead them into astonishing situations. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1998

"Some plot elements get short shrift, but several characters show surprising depth, and readers should be prepared to read this in one breathless sitting. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Frizzing up whenever danger threatens, amateur sleuth Herculeah Jones's hair gets a real workout in this tale of murder, weight, and family secrets. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE DARK STAIRS by Betsy Byars
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"A promising start for a series that could easily become a popular alternative to massmarket mysteries. (Fiction. 8-12)"
A versatile standby (1971 Newbery) brings her usual brisk aplomb to a projected series about a self-reliant early teen whose first adventure is closer in spirit, despite her name, to the Nancy Drews recalled by its jacket than to the exploits of Indiana Jones. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

Released: April 1, 1982

"However, this falls short of the penetrating warmth and conviction of Byars at her best."
In this sharply cast but overly managed story, three kids, two of them sisters, are thrown together when the girls' divorced father decides to share their two-week island vacation with his widowed "friend" Delores, John D.'s mother. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE 18TH EMERGENCY by Betsy Byars
Released: April 16, 1973

"This is Byars in a lighter mood (although we never question Mouse's desperation) and her projection of the marked victim's sharpened senses, fantasies of rescue, and frantic thoughts are both funny and empathic."
When Mouse and Ezzie were younger they used to enjoy inventing solutions to jungle emergencies (lion attack, unexpected charge of an enraged bull, sudden appearance of sharks in your swimming area), and now that big dumb Hammerman is after Mouse (for writing the bully's name under a picture of Neanderthal man on the sixth grade classroom wall) he remembers that most of the emergency measures amounted to doing whatever was hardest or most unnatural. Read full book review >