A Figure of Speech

By Norma Fox Mazer

Original Publisher: Delacorte Press
Current Publisher: Out of Print
Digital Publisher: Not Available

Reading Level: Not Available

Children’s Books Finalists That Year:

  • Alice Childress for A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich
  • Vera and Bill Cleaver for The Whys and Wherefores of Littabelle Lee
  • Julia Cunningham for The Treasure is the Rose
  • Bette Greene for Summer of My German Soldier
  • Kristin Hunter for Guests in the Promised Land
  • E.L. Konigsburg for A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver
  • Norma Fox Mazer for A Figure of Speech
  • F.N. Monjo for Poor Richard in France
  • Harve Zemach for Duffy and the Devil

Children’s Books Winner That Year: Eleanor Cameron for The Court of the Stone Children

Judges That Year: Clifton Fadiman, Nancy Larrick, George A. Woods

The Year in Literature: The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox won the Newbery Medal.

More Information: 

  • Mazer was a Newbery Medal finalist in 1988 for After the Rain.
  • The critically acclaimed and award-winning author began her career writing sensationalist true story and true confession articles for pulp magazines with titles along the lines of “I Fell in Love with My Sister’s Husband.”
  • Mazer’s New York Times obituary refers to an interview with The Post-Standard of Syracuse in 1988. “Ms. Mazer sought to dispel any notion that her work, despite its emotionally rigorous subject matter, had a neat, didactic aim. ‘I hesitate to say I’m delivering messages,’ she said. ‘I’m writing stories and novels. I hope there’s an underlying feeling for the reader—a hope, perhaps a moral. But I’m not preaching. I’m telling stories.’”

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