Sweet and sour, hot and cold, vicious and tender, joyous and sorry: As in the days of adolescence, this collection from Gifaldi (Gregory, Maw, and the Mean One, 1992) is full of contradictions. In ""Me and Johnny,"" a girl waits for her estranged father, who, tree to his habits, doesn't show up; ""Mr. Burrell,"" some boys play a nasty trick on one of their group who is big and slow. The last four stories find exceptional truths in some painfully awkward moments: In ""Paying Respects,"" a boy attends the wake of a teammate's sibling and learns to see treasure both in his own life and in a shared piece of candy; in ""The Driving Lesson,"" a mother straggles to communicate the facts of life to her daughter. The final, transcendent story, ""And Angels Too,"" takes trash-poor Ruthie and Wayne and transforms them into archetypal teenagers on a hot summer night. The stories gather in force as the book progresses, until every protagonist has come to a moment that ""rearranges"" his or her thinking--whether a shifting perspective of the past, a glimmering notion of the future, or both.