L'Engle, Madeleine. Meet the Austins. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997. ISBN 0-374-34929-0. $16.00. 216 pp. B 4-7 FI Reviewed by Janet O. Francis Meet the Austins does exactly what the title promises. The reader becomes intimately acquainted with a well-adjusted, functional family, full of love and well-schooled in positive values and judgment. Lest the foregoing be called damning with faint praise, this middle- and upper-grade novel is vintage L'Engle (no small commendation) and is a new edition of the first novel she wrote about the Austins. There are really good times for these people, as well as really bad ones; and if the family concerns seem somewhat removed from 1998, the principles and feelings are not. Recommend this one to your thoughtful fourth- to sixth-grade girls to start them on a very pleasant journey through their early adolescent years. They'll likely continue right on through all five books about the Austins: Meet the Austins, The Moon by Night, The Young Unicorns, A Ring of Endless Light, and Troubling a Star.
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