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COME OVER, COME OVER By Lynda Barry (Harper: $8.95)

October 21, 1990|CHARLES SOLOMON

Lynda Barry's latest book, a series of letters and diary entries written by a 14-year-old girl during the late '60s, bridges cartooning and fiction writing. Maybonne Mullen describes the pleasures and traumas of junior high school, that awful period of adolescence humans somehow survive. The product of what was called a "broken home," Maybonne must confront problems they didn't mention on the re-runs of "The Donna Reed Show:" her father's alcoholism, peer pressure to experiment with alcohol and sex, sibling rivalry and even child-abuse in one dramatic, sensitively written sequence. Barry's prose cleverly reveals the comedy inherent in adolescent self-dramatization; her quirky drawings, which resemble notebook doodles, somehow capture the appearance of the nerdy heroine and her baby sister.

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