An artistic achievement and at the same time a compassionate probing beneath the surface of social inequalities to underlying unities centers around Lovejoy, shabby waif of Catford Street. There are also the two boys- Tip, leader of the gang, and frail Sparkey who worshipped Tip and longed to belong. But the unique conception of Lovejoy stands out for she lives by her wits, steals, lies yet finds in beauty an answer for her starved heart. It is the making of a secret garden in a Church courtyard that provides the central theme that brings the three children into focus and shows up the paper thin pretenses of the adults who surround them. With humor and understanding, a story that might easily have become maudlin sentimentality remains at a high level of compassion.