Tuesday, April 28, 2020
The most hopeful trend of 1968 occurred in fiction for teen-agers. A number of books of high literary quality were published, many displaying a welcome and honest effort on the part of authors to 'tell it like it is' about the drug scene, the generation gap, sex, and draft resistance. The alienation common to many teenagers today is sensitively probed in Vadim Frolov's What It's All About. Although set in the Soviet Union, this story of a 14-year-old boy, seeking the truth about life, love, and sex but surrounded by narrow-minded, closemouthed adults, is universal and compelling. Alienation also figures in two other titles?The Pigman, Paul Zindel's bittersweet story of an iconoclastic boy and girl and the joy and hurt they bring an old man, and Count Me Gone, Annabel and Edgar Johnson's convincing portrait of an 18-year-old's estrangement from his parents, his elder brother, and his suffocating suburban background. Anita MacRae Feagles' Me, Cassie is a witty and irreverent novel abou t a girl growing up in the midst of a staid family and her encounters with two Moroccan exchange students and a pop singing group. Touching on the themes of hope and compassion, there are Maia Wojciechowska's memorable novel A Single Light, a parable about the need to love and be loved in return, woven around a deaf and dumb Spanish girl and a priceless statue of the Christ Child, and James Forman's The Traitors, a harshly honest chronicle of the agonies of a family fighting to save its town and church in Nazi Germany.