For example, her 1991 novel, "Stepping on the Cracks," which won the prestigious Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, focuses on two children who at first demean but later sympathize with a neighborhood youth who refuses to serve in the military because of his pacifist beliefs. The novel is set during World War II.
"She has a really remarkable record of pleasing the critics and the young readers," said Zena Sutherland, a retired professor of children's literature at the University of Chicago and children's book reviewer. "She is dependably good. There are no hackneyed formula plots in her books."