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Lisa, Bright and Dark: A Novel Paperback – May 23, 2007

92 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Neufeld?s internationally acclaimed Lisa, Bright and Dark, has sold more than 3 million copies. Published by Random House, Harper & Row, Penguin, among others, he is also a Macdowell Fellow. He lives in


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 09
  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: (May 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595450482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595450480
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,864,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Neufeld was born in Chicago, educated at Phillips Exeter and Yale, worked in publishing 1962-1969 when LISA,BRIGHT AND DARK was published (after EDGAR ALLAN).
He lives in Connecticut and is the author of more than a dozen children's and adult novels. He is a teacher as well as NPR commentator. is his blog.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Brandy C on September 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read this book as a pre-teen, as I was beginning to deal with severe juvenile depression. The dark feelings and fear described in the book are real and impossibly unbearable, especially for a child. Some may believe that the material is dated (the terminology is less than PC), however, adults are still reluctant to acknowledge that children/teens experience mental illness. The book helped me to realize that I was neither "crazy" nor alone at a time when my teachers and parents labeled me as shy and typically moody. This book has stayed with me all these years, and I would recommend it to anyone who is dealing with childhood emotional issues or a child with emotional issues. As a current mental health professional, I keep several copies on hand for at-risk children and families.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Anjie on July 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book when i was in high school. I was told to read the book and write a review on it by my school councelor. I was so messed up then and i just wasn't doing too good, not just in school but inside myself i felt wrong and i couldn't explain it. I thought for sure that if i didn't get help somehow, someway that i would die from the pain i felt inside myself. My friends tried to help and they spoke to the coucelor, who was also a creative writing teacher and he spoke to me often and had me transfered into his class. I don't how i got by day to day but my friends could see i was just letting go and slipping into whatever insanity that was upon me and so did my councelor. One day i was in class and my councelor had us write a book review. Everyone got to choose thier own book except me. He handed me Lisa, Bright & Dark and told me that in order to pass his class (and graduate high school) i had to review this book. I read it and could not believe how much this story related to me. I so much wanted for someone to help her. I thought for sure no one would. When i got to the end of this story, with out any hesitation i started writing my review. The next day my councelor read it and it actually brought tears to his eyes and he looked at me and told me that everything would be ok and that i was going to be alright. I guess by reading this story i was able to associate it w/ how i felt inside and i was able to seek out the help i needed to make me right. I graduated w/ honors that year and i got the right therapy to be able to pull out of the sickness that i was willingly falling into. I am 28 yrs old now and i really believe that if it wasn't for reading this story and having a great councelor who really cared for me and my well being i would have gone insane.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr.Francesco Raphael Galardo of the Catskills on October 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
Lisa, Bright and Dark by John Neufeld is a great book to read and enjoy. It lets you in on the journey of someone who is moving slowly towards the world of madness.
Lisa Shilling is experiencing mental problems of which seem to put her as an outcast at school. Some of her closest friends, Mary Nell, Betsy and Elizabeth realize that there is a problem. They seek to find answers in their own "group therapy" everyday after school. Although the students see that Lisa has a problem, Lisa's parents deny the facts that are given to them.
Through out the book Lisa makes situations worse just to try to prove it to her parents that she needs help. Many of the other adults know what's going on because of the involvement of their kids, but find it best to stay out of it. Lisa's parents finally give in to the problem after Lisa hurts herself another time. They agree to seek help and things start to turn around for the better.
The author did a good job showing that sometimes parents don't want to understand but if you push hard enough they will give in. Great details get you involved with the realistic situation and can allow you to think about these issues. This is a wonderful book if you want to experience new uncommon issues.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Lisa Bright and Dark is the tear-jerking tale of Lisa Shillings' descent into madness. This was one of those books that stops and makes you think about how awful it must be to be slowly going insane while the only people who carry enough about you to do anything are your friends while your parents lay back and do nothing. It hurts me to think that anyone should not only have to suffer the pain of not being "sane" but also of having your family not give a damn whether or not you live or die. This book really stirred up a lot of emotions for me not only because I know quite a bit about psychology but also because I know that Lisa's parents and teachers had the power to help her but instead left it up to her friends. I really think that Neufeld does an excellent job of making you pity Lisa. Even though this book is set in the 1960's it is still just as meaningful now, almost 40 years later, as it was then. The part of this book that made me feel the most emotion is the fact that even though Lisa told her parents she was going mad they did nothing, nothing at all. This sort of made me realize how much easier people growing up now have it. Even if your parents don't seem to listen or care about your mental health there are places online and hotlines where you can get help. I totally felt Lisa's pain, not the pain of going mad but the pain of having those closest to you not believe you. If you don't read this book you are really cheating yourself out of one of the most influential pieces of literature written this century. Even if you don't read this book for yourself read it for the Lisas of the world.
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