Books by George Layton

THE SWAP by George Layton
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 22, 1997

The schoolyard adventures of Arthur, 11, set against the background of northern England in the 1950s, form the anecdotal plot of this charming novel. Each chapter or cluster of chapters tells a story about Arthur and the rough-and-tumble boys at the strict school he attends; the narrative is held together by one plot thread, the ``swap'' of the title, which occurs in the final two chapters. Arthur, a sensitive boy with a feisty exterior, and his spirited single mother are likable, and his pals are certainly varied: tough-talking Norbert, who is beaten by his father, and William, a Jewish boy of Austrian descent. Arthur learns to act according to his conscience by befriending William, and helps Norbert lie to escape his father's brutal wrath. During his stay with an affluent family whose son is staying with Arthur's mother (the swap), he realizes just how much he cherishes her, and behaves accordingly. In Arthur, readers can acknowledge their own weaknesses, be reassured by their convictions, and witness the redemptive powers of humanity. (Fiction. 10-12) Read full book review >