Pediatricians should be aware of this book; they will hear it referred to increasingly. As its accompanying "flyer" notes, it is "a provocative book" in that any physician who reads it can't help but be "provoked." The author, by focusing exclusively on the social and emotional needs of the hospitalized child—pulling "all the stops" in process—presents quite a distorted view of how the hospital, its staff, and the community can best serve ill children.
At the onset one is greeted by the usual gloomy picture of the detrimental impact of hospitalization. (Even Bowlby has tuned down his oft-quoted dire predications about "separated children." Reading on, one might surmise the primary purpose of hospitalization had but scant relationship, if any at all, to physical illness. Rather it might be seen as an exercise in overcoming barriers on the road to good mental health by the use of intense social, educational, recreational,