ALL IT TAKES IS PRACTICE by Betty Miles

ALL IT TAKES IS PRACTICE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Stuart, who's so shy that he practices basketball alone and deflects the overtures of Alison, who'd clearly like to be his fifth-grade ""girlfriend,"" comes out of his shell when Peter, the popular new boy with his own swimming pool, starts inviting him over. Stu stays loyal to his first real friend--even when Peter's mother turns out to be a black woman, the suburban Kansas neighborhood is scandalized at the prospect of having a racially mixed family in their midst, and some local toughs attack Stu and Peter on the street. For Stu's socially conscious parents, the arrival of Peter's family is a welcome lesson in ""what the real world is like""; and the author's own teaching impulse extends to asides on the proper way to learn the metric system, and unsubtle comparisons between the granola-and-fruit snacks served in Stu's home and the fattening cookies served at Alison's, or the bigotry and male chauvinism of Alison's father vs. the enlightened outlook of Stu's parents. The lesson seems to be that anyone who believes that a light-complexioned black boy has the right to go to school without being beaten up can afford to feel pretty smug about it, a bit of moral reductionism that's no compliment to Kansans.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1976
Publisher: Knopf