ABC-TV reporter Geraldo Rivera, a bear for ""stories of children being abused,"" tells about eleven youngsters who surmounted misfortune or, in a few cases, actively risked danger. Outstanding on both scores is Bernard Carabello, 21, who endured sixteen years in Willowbrook, New York's notorious sinkhole for the mentally retarded, before militant social workers--and he himself--realized that as a victim of cerebral palsy he should never have been there at all. Once aroused, Bernard became the ""expert witness"" in the fight to reform Willowbrook, a story that Rivera won plaudits for covering. Others, however, are told at second hand, and not only told but reconstructed in quasi-documentary detail with frequent cuts that promote tension and turn emotional screws. There's eleven-year-old Stevie Baltz, burned black in an air crash, who thought about everyone but himself in the 26 hours before he died; six-year-old Gall Etienne, one of the four small black children who integrated the New Orleans schools (and the counterpart of Robert Coles' pseudonymous ""Ruby"" in Children of Crisis, a far more affecting portrayal); Illinois high-school boy Angus Mack Gaither, who ran a 400-acre farm, took care of his invalid mother and brother, and still won a scholarship to Harvard; and--especially smarmy--young Teddy Kennedy's bout with bone cancer. Human interest news overextended.