Being a twin can be awkward and painful, especially if you are the weaker one -- as Michael was -- his right side partially crippled from polio. On the farm it was not bad. Athletic Patrick played baseball in the spring while Mike luxuriated in fishing, riding, and collecting junk. But Detroit was different. From the first day of school on, Mike (""screwball"" to his classmates) showed his awkwardness as readily as Patrick made friends and displayed his athletic prowess. Eventually, and quite realistically, Michael proves himself by his skill with tools. He builds a car for the Soap Box Derby, but from the first page to the last, the reader follows his struggles, his anxieties, and his final triumph with lively sympathy. In making Michael the narrator, the author has demonstrated an unusually fine ability to write in the language of a young boy. This penetrating glimpse into the sometimes cruel, usually honest world of boyhood, gives this book a power and depth which are very satisfying.