The One in the Middle Is a Green Kangaroo, by Judy Blume (Dell Yearling, $1.75. Ages 6-9); Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume (Dell Laurel Leaf, $2.50. Ages 10-13). For the younger Blumies in your family, a story of a middle child who has his moment in the limelight; for the older Blumies, the story of a girl named Davey whose father has been killed in a 7-Eleven holdup. Her family then moves to New Mexico to try to deal with the shock.
Silent Dancer, by Bruce Hlibok; photographs by Liz Glascow (Wanderer/Simon and Schuster, $4.95. Ages 8-12). Bruce Hlibok, whose younger sister Nancy is the subject of his book, is, like her, deaf. He is also a dancer who had a leading part in the Broadway show Runaways.. Nancy wants to be a dancer, too, and in this chronicle and photo essay we see her practicing in a special class for the deaf sponsored by the Joffrey School of Ballet. She is inspired by the memory of a benefit performance her class gave at Lincoln Center, where she hopes someday to dance again. And how is it possible to dance when you cannot hear the music? "The music that makes me dance," Nancy says, "is the music I feel!"
A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32, by Joan W. Blos (Aladdin/Atheneum, $2.95. Ages 10-14). Winner of the Newbery Medal for 1980, this novel in the utterly believable form of a lively New Hamsphire girl's diary, does not spare the hardness of life in the early 19th century--the girl's mother has died of a fever a few years earlier; her best friend dies of the same malady; slavery is a recurring concern--but there are also the pleasures of holidays and weddings, the news that a slave she has helped has made it to Canada and freedom, and at the end the prospect of leaving home on an exciting journey.
Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi; illustrated by Richard Floethe (Philomel/Putnam, $3.95. Ages 8-12). Pinocchio is 101 years old, and still the most delightful of blockheads. This is a handsome, sturdy, reasonably priced reprint of the "Rainbow Classic" edition first published in 1946, with strong clear type and Floethe's charming woodcut illustrations.
The Faraway Lurs, by Harry Behn (Philomel/Putnam, $4.95. Ages 11-up). First published as "The Distant Lurs" in 1963, this tragic tale, which may be destined to become an enduring classic, brings together a beautiful young girl from a peaceful Stone Age tribe and the boy she loves, a member of a wandering, early Bronze Age tribe of sun worshippers. FICTION
The Spider's House, by Paul Bowles (Black Sparrow, $9; cloth, $14). Besides producing handsome, well printed books at reasonable prices, Black Sparrow Press also aims to keep in print the work of many of the most important post-war American novelists and poets. Over the past few years the press has published several of Paul Bowles' books, including his Collected Stories, Let It Come Down and this one, his third novel. Set in Fez, against a background of political and sexual intrigue, it ranks as one his finest achievements. And that is very fine indeed.
Dombey and Son; Little Dorrit; Oliver Twist; The Mystery of Edwin Drood, all by Charles Dickens (Oxford, $5.95, $6.95, $2.95, $3.50). Choosing texts from the standard Clarendon edition, these Oxford World Classics ought to provide the best soft-cover Dickens around. Such, alas, is not the case. The covers are pretty, but the paper is muddy, the type minuscule, and the pages distractingly translucent. No one but the most dedicated Dickensian could possibly read them. For shame, Oxford, couldn't you have taken a little more care?
The Best of TriQuarterly, edited Jonathan Brent (Washington Square, $4.95). Noted for its willingness to publish stories of all sorts and styles, TriQuarterly may be the best showcase of new fiction now going. This anthology, choosing from the magazine's first 50 issues (1964-1981), includes work by William H. Gass, Stanley Elkin, Jonathan Penner, John Hawkes, Joseph McElroy, and Isaac Singer. A good way to meet or catch up with some new writers and writing. NONFICTION
The Endurance of Frankenstein: Essays on Mary Shelley's Novel, edited by George Levine and U.C. Knoepflmacher (University of California, $8.95). The most influential Gothic novel. The first true example of science fiction. The most devastating parable of science--the researcher destroyed by his creation. A prefiguration of the existentialist "outsider," more sinned against than sinning. An example of Godwinian ethics. Man's overreaching dream: "Ye shall be as gods." All these, and more, are embodied in a novel, written by a woman scarcely out of her teens, that has become one of the great modern myths. In these essays, Frankenstein is dissected in manifold ways: origins, themes, and movie progeny.
The Village Voice Anthology (1956-- 1980): Twenty-five Years of Writing from The Village Voice, edited by Geoffrey Stokes (Quill, $7.50). This thick collection of articles, interspersed with some cartoons, reflects more than the spirit of a feisty newspaper; it embodies many of the changes we Americans have undergone in the last quarter of a century. Adore or despise them, New Yorkers have been in the avant-garde of civil rights, feminism, gay rights, race and sexual relations, politics, crime, literature and art. This anthology spans the spectrum. Some of the contributors are well known: Ed Sorel, Frances FitzGerald, Jules Feiffer, Susan Brownmiller, Norman Mailer and Michael Harrington. The tone of the voices varies, but the quality is consistently excellent. And, true to their slogan, "Expect the unexpected."
Sextet: T.S. Eliot & Truman Capote & Others, by John Malcom Brinnin (Delta, $7.95). Literary gossip, yes, but gossip in the grand tradition of the Goncourt journal, Virginia Woolf's diaries, the Humphrey Lyttelton-Rupert Hart-Davis letters. Brinnin's longest section focuses on the early career of his old friend Truman Capote, but hardly less delicious are the wickedly detailed portraits of the Sitwells, Elizabeth Bowen, Alice B. Toklas, Cartier-Bresson, and T.S. Eliot.