cover image The Melinda Zone

The Melinda Zone

Margaret Willey. Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, $15.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-553-09215-8

Shuttling back and forth between her divorced parents all her life has left 15-year-old Melinda in an emotional no-man's-land, lacking a sense of identity. For the first time, she spends a summer away from both of them at her cousin's, and by taking time to be alone she forges a new independence and a stronger sense of self in the place she calls the ``Melinda Zone.'' In forthright conversations about the emotional grip of divorce on children, this coming-of-age story provides a sensible and undramatic foothold in that tug-of-war. Though a relatively narrow slice of life is under scrutiny, it is generously explored, and a rather uneventful plot is spiced up by a satisfying teen romance. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)