A middle child whose problems are self-analyzed in repetitious detail, Mark Munday (even his initials are in the middle) has no one to talk to or to go around with, invariably gets tonguetied when addressed (if he hasn't got food in his mouth). He finds a friend in Midway, a tiger (after reading Blake) who comes whenever Mark concentrates on something or is angry or frightened, but not when he is thinking about himself, which is most of the time. When a neighbor, whom Mark alone suspects of treachery, confirms his suspicions, the boy exposes the man, reports a fire, and determines his future vocation (veterinarian) with a speed sadly missing from the rest of the book. The ensuing praise, especially from his father, relieves some of Mark's self-consciousness, and he is appropriately disconcerted (but not dismayed) when he realizes Midway won't be around much anymore. Even if the imaginative beginning makes up for a facile conclusion, the heavy-handed fantasy makes too much middle.