That our traditional notions of the family are undergoing lively reassessment is reflected in numerous recent adult titles, and the same sort of stimulating investigation might be expected in a 1972 juvenile. Instead we are offered a formless mush of vacuous platitudes and questionable generalizations, with a random smattering of hackneyed sociology. From the misleading introduction (""every person has been part of a nuclear family"" and ""everywhere in the world this basic structure exists"") to the unenlightening ""'peeks' into the future"" (""Whatever the view of experts, most agree that the family as an institution will continue for some time to come""), Gay combines limp assertion with inept illustration, achieving no discernible thrust or focus. Regarding ""the ties that bind,"" she offers the Kennedys as an example of extended-family unity, but instead of analyzing the Kennedy family dynamics she merely cites their ""tradition of political service."" The Rockefellers are then invoked to illustrate that ""massive wealth. . . is one more factor that creates family ties of an extraordinary nature,"" and the Hatfields and McCoys to show that ""family unity can be destructive."" Similar misuse is made of the Cinderella story, the boy who cried wolf, and a black family's ""rap"" sessions. Young people will find more cogent and provocative material in popular magazines.