Search Results: "Betsy Byars"


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

BEANS ON THE ROOF by Betsy Byars
Released: Oct. 4, 1988

"Young readers should be delighted."
In a novel that is hardly more difficult than an easy reader (though longer), the Beans are a typical Byars family: Papa sells fruits and vegetables; they live in an apartment house from which they wave at neighbors across the street; and they are distinguished by their common-sense and love for one another rather than by their cleverness. 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 >

BOOK REVIEW

THE SUMMER OF THE SWANS by Betsy Byars
Released: March 30, 1970

"The book is a succession of clicks that connect, a sparse but acute self-possessing."
With increasing frequency juvenile fiction is contracting to the dimensions of a short story and the endoskeleton (dialogue, stage directions, asides to the audience) of drama—of which the climax to Sara's season of discontent is a good example. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE DANCING CAMEL by Betsy Byars
Released: Aug. 30, 1965

"The black and white line drawings convincingly represent the locale and dover the spectrum of camel expressions."
Camilla Camel the last in the caravan line made the most of her privacy to go off into a fancy sort of soft-shoe shuffle. 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: Oct. 3, 1986

"Not to be missed."
At first glance, two people could hardly be less alike than that irrepressible inventor, Junior Blossom, and Mad Mary Cantrell, rural equivalent of a bag lady. 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

Released: April 1, 1988

"She communicates her compassion for all her characters to the reader who—like Bingo—will be wiser by the book's end."
Once again, Byars gives us a memorable character in her portrait of Bingo, poised for his first steps into adulthood—if only he can find out what he's supposed to do. 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 >