Betsy Cromer Byars The Pinballs

ISBN 13: 9780064471503

The Pinballs

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9780064471503: The Pinballs

A dramatization by Aurand Harris of the award-winning novel by Betsy Byars. A smashing success when premiered at Northwestern University Department of Drama for the entire community of Evanston. Winner of the AATE Distinguished Play Award. One set. Contemporary costumes. Cast of 2 women and 3 men.

Three children are bounced like pinballs from one foster home to another. Carlie, fifteen and street-wise and a natural leader, is a victim of child abuse. Thirteen-year old Harvey is wheelchair bound after his drunken father ran over both of his legs with his new car. Thomas J., eight, was abandoned on a doorstep as a baby. Each longs for the comfort of a real home. Now, in the play, they come together for the first time at Mrs. Mason's, an understanding foster mother who encourages them to follow Carlie's urging "to do something for ourselves." By the end of summer the "pinballs" have become a "family." Written in a theatrical and imaginative style, utilizing exciting musical, sound, and lighting effects, this play is both touching and funny. It treats a modern social problem with arresting insight, humor, and an emotional theatrical impact.

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Product Description:

"What else is on your 'Bad Things' list?" Carlie urged.

"Nothing. I've just got the appendectomy so far."

"Well, write down two broken legs," Carlie suggested. "I wouldn't exactly call them the fun event of the year." She paused. "If it was me, I'd make that number two and three, wouldn't you, Thomas J? Number two, right leg. Number three, left."

After all, when your own father drives over your legs, you really should account for both of them. Harvey has other lists, too, lists of people he is afraid of and of gifts he got that he didn't want. Carlie has it figured that his problem, like her own and Thomas J's, is that he is a pinball. Pinballs don't get to settle where they want.

But under the influence of their foster parents and each other, Carlie's cynicism is eclipsed by her determination to bring Harvey out of his despondency; and the earnest Thomas J begins to find his own identity. Even Carlie is willing to conclude that the three are not pinballs, after all.

Betsy Byars' upbeat story of children disappointed by their parents is often funny and always poignant.

About the Author:

The plays of Aurand Harris have been produced and applauded in thousands of productions around the world for nearly a half century. Harris was a prodigious dramatist, writing a new published play each season. He was a tireless experimenter of forms, themes, subjects. This modest man of irrepressible imagination and energy carried a vast array of honors and accolades. He was the first recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in Children's Theatre. He received an honorary doctorate from a mid-western university, and was introduced into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. He was the first playwright to receive the Medallion of the Children's Theatre Foundation of America.

Betsy Byars is a widely read and loved author of many award-winning middle-grade books for children, including Summer Of The Swans (Viking), a 1971 Newbery Medal winner. The Pinballs was an ALA Notable Children's Book in 1977 as well as the basis for an ABC Afterschool Special. Other books she has written for HarperCollins are Good-bye, Chicken Little; The Seven Treasure Hunts, illustrated by Jennifer Barrett; and three I Can Read Books, the popular The Golly Sisters Go West, Hooray For The Golly Sisters!, and The Golly Sisters Ride Again, all illustrated by Sue Truesdell. Ms. Byars lives in Clemson, South Carolina, with her husband.

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