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It's hard to find Kallie's corner, which is in the middle of Greenwich Village, and it's difficult, too difficult, to get through to Kallie too. She and her seventh grade classmate Jane, the real heroine of the story, are types with notable characteristics, but are not really convincing as personalities. Jane is the East Side private school sort--attractive, finished, pleasant, reliably obedient, and unimaginative; she is accepted in the ""club"" of the class elite and always follows the orders of Pamela, the class leader. Kallie is the outsider, the quiet but inevitable nonconformist. Her descriptions of her ""antique"" dollhouse start the friendship, and as it grows it satisfies the qualities lacking from each one's background and home life. Pamela and the club blackball Jane for her association with Kallie, but they admire her defiance too. In her new milieu, Jane develops the idea of holding a street fair and puppet show in honor of Kallie's birthday (Kallie's never had a party) and in carrying out the project she organizes, leads and shows a good deal of imagination. The girls' problems are believable, but their speech and their indicated concerns often seem inappropriate to their age and characters, and the New York aura doesn't come off right either. The story is burdened also by too much detail about the planning for the fair, which is more fun for the participant than the reader. It's a sincere treatment, but with too many artifical involvements.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1966
Publisher: Pantheon