Books and Reviews

+++ Please note: after each title are letters indicating for whom the book is intended. “a” = adults; y.a. = young adults; “c” = children.


EDGAR ALLAN (S.G.Phillips, Inc.)  c., y.a., a

A minister and his white family adopt a black child, and then send him back.   An instant classic.

“A work of art.”

                                         ---- Sunday New York Times

***Best Books of the Year

                                         ---- Sunday New York Times

***An American Library Association Notable Book

***TIME Magazine’s Christmas Book List


LISA, BRIGHT AND DARK  (S.G.Phillips, Inc.)  y.a., a.

The classic tale of a young woman’s fear of madness.

“Compassionate and tragic, an indictment of adults who refuse to get involved.”

                                                          --- The New York Times

***Best Books of the Year

              ---- Sunday New York Times  

“…skillfully constructed and more exciting than Neufeld’s previous, highly praised, EDGAR ALLAN,”

                                                               --- School Library Journal 

An NBCTV Hallmark Hall of Fame Production


TOUCHING (or TWINK, in paperback) (S.G.Phillips, Inc.)  (c, y.a., a.) about a too-sure young man who meets his new step-sister and has a lot to learn about being with others less fortunate than he is.

“A novel so moving that the reader abandons all pretense of composure.  Brilliant!  An emotional shocker…intensely real.”

                                                           ---- English Journal

“John Neufeld’s ability as an author seems to grow with each new novel.  This would seem impossible since from the first his books have been excellent.”

                                                           ---- Cleveland Press

“Poignant and gripping…few readers will remain untouched.”

                                                           ---- Des Moines Register



SLEEP TWO, THREE, FOUR!  (Harper and Row)  (y.a.) a political thriller set in the future.

Starred review in School Library Journal

“A thriller!”  Saturday Review



FREDDY’S BOOK  (Random House) (c., y.a., a.) a gentle how-to manual for boys growing into puberty.

“…an honest, humorous account of a young boy’s honest, not-at-all-humorous-to-himself dilemma.  Freddy is real, his problem is real, and the resolution is believable.  The book is timely, the writing is good, and it is for children about children now.  And perhaps most important, it affirms life and loving based on caring.”          

                                                            --- Psychology Today

“…it could well become a vital part of any family or library.”

                                                            --- Children’s Book Review Service



FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS  (Norton) (y.a., a)

Teenagers fall in love and have a child.  One of them is strong, the other weak.

“A sensitive, tender story.”

                                                             ---- Ft, Wayne News-Sentinel   

“Warm, full of meaning, and very, very today.”

                                                             ---  Sioux Falls Leader



SUNDAY FATHER  (New American Library)   (c., y.a.)

A couple separates and then divorces, which is impossibly difficult on their daughter.  Learning what loving, belonging, and growing up are all about.

Good Reading

A SMALL CIVIL WAR   (Atheneum)  (y.a., a.)

In a small Midwestern town, a rip-roaring young woman in 8th grade fights the forces of book censorship.  Tense, funny, angry, and true.


SHARELLE  (Norton)  (y.a., a.)

Sharelle Marston is 14 and pregnant.  She must make decisions that are really too grown-up for a teenager to make, but she does, and does it well.

“Compelling…a profoundly moving story…the reader cares for Sharelle and her beloved daughter.”

                                                             ---- Publishers Weekly


ALMOST A HERO  (Atheneum)  c., y.a.)

What it is like to live on the streets---our hero learns and worries and almost rescues a child in distress --- the wrong child!

“A compelling story.”

                                           --- Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books

“An easy, but realistic, look into a world that is becoming more and more a reality in all communities.”

                                                               --- VOYA


GAPS IN STONE WALLS  (Atheneum)  (c., y.a., a.)

Set on Martha’s Vineyard, the story of a murder in an afflicted society that was never treated as such. 

“A unique murder mystery….will catch any reader tight.”

                                          ---- The Washington Post

“Neufeld shows again his wonderful gift for creating sympathetic and utterly believable characters.  He has once again proven himself an unflinching student of the human heart.”

                                        --- School Library Journal

***  Nominated for an Edgar by the Mystery Writers of America


BOYS LIE  (DK INK)  (y.a., a.)

Gina is better ”endowed” than most of her classmates, and she suffers for it.

“Short, quick-moving chapters coupled with subject matter make this a sure winner!”

                                           ---- School Library Journal

***  One of the Year’s Best, YASLA; New York Public Library’s Best Books for Young Adults


THE HANDLE AND THE KEY  (Dial)  (c., y.a.)

“Thoughtful and honest.  Neufeld, author of the classics Lisa, Bright and Dark and Edgar Allan, uses a fascinating perspective to explore the challenges associated with adopting an older child and the effects it may have on the children already in the family.  Unsettling and memorable.”

                                            --- The Kirkus Service



TRADING UP  (Atheneum)  (as ‘Joan Lea’)

Four women, sex, and “movin’ on up.”

“Slick, gossipy, and thoroughly tasteless.”


                                           ---- Sunday New York Times

For Adults Only

THE FUN OF IT  (Putnam’s)

A love story in New York with a villain straight out of Charles Dickens.

Good Reading


“Lear,” set in New York, London, and Paris.

Good Reading

APRIL FOOL  (Grey Swan Press) 


Compared to works by Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, Ron Hansen, John Updike, APRIL FOOL is a speedy romp through Cheever country – suburban Connecticut’s lanes, pools, parties and clubs – following the heartfelt aches and pains of George Willetts and his wife, Boomers suddenly aware that chances for excitement are few and far between.


“Four Stars  “Fascinating contemporary character study…George’s political work cleverly sets the time just before the California recall ballot in this deep well written but difficult tale that sets a high quality bar as the Boomer books begin.”

                                             --- Harriet Klausner,

                                                  Amazon’s No. 1 reviewer

“America’s fiction is a frontier ruled by outlaws, from the deluded gangster, Jay Gatsby, and girlfriend murdering Clyde Griffiths. To the sociopathic Tom Ripley, and chaotically priapic Harry Angstrom.  George Willetts, the desolate protagonist of John Neufeld’s latest novel, APRIL FOOL, follows in this tradition….”

                                            --- Connecticut Muse


“A fun, dishy, fact-paced tale…Neufeld is a master of plot and character…using wit and his keen observations, Neufeld makes George a sympathetic character…”

                                        --- The Lakeville Journal


FIVE STARS  “Neufeld’s enormous talent is his ability to disturb, amuse, and delight without becoming too philosophic.  In addition he displays a strong grasp of the complexities of human character as they relate to marital relationships and middle age.  APRIL FOOL is everything you would expect from an author who has been included twice in The Sunday New York Times’ Best Books of the Year.”

                                             ---- Bookpleasures

Good Reading

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