Patricia crosses town unwillingly. She's nine years old and she's scared stiff. She is being sent to a school outside her neighborhood because she is a Negro. Her new school assigns her a buddy, a volatile redhead named Sarah, who at first puts, Pat on guard with her blatant cracks about black and white. Pat soon sees that Sarah's attitude is not based in prejudice, but rather in honest acceptance. Further drawn together by a common flair for dramatics, the pair begin a friendship that climaxes when Sarah too crosses town, at the risk of her mother's displeasure, to visit Pat's family in their home. The author has written a story about a schoolgirl friendship, rather than a polemic. The situations are natural to our time and nicely handled although neither the style on the dialogue come close to Natalie Savage Carlson's The Empty Schoolhouse (p. 751 J-253). Nevertheless, there is a low-keyed realism here that is straightforward and enlightening.