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It's written with the same facility as the author's slick short stories for boys, which have appeared regularly in Boys' Life. Ostensibly about football at a prep school, there is more emphasis on the boys who make up the team than there is on the game itself. The students are all clean-cut, wholesome types, loyal to the school, compulsively enthusiastic over harmless pranks and fairly sophisticated repartee (on a semantic plane only--there is never any mention of things outside the ivy-covered walls of Washburn Prep). Specifically, the story concerns three roommates. Mike Blair is a responsible, conscientious boy and the outstanding member of the football team. Jerry Le Van, a wealthy, spoiled chap is indignant because his father had forced him to transfer to Washburn and, as an outstanding football player, is determined to take over Mike's position. Then, there is Ducky Wilson, a sports reporter for the school paper, the clownish buffer for the other two. On the field, descriptions of the game are limited (Jerry's spectacular plays, for instance, are generally passed over as ""football pyrotechnics"") and even at the tensest moments there is time for extended banter. Eventually, of course, Mike and Jerry learn to Work Together For the Team. The portrayal of prep school life is idealized, but boys may well appreciate that as much as girls do the beautified boarding schools.

Pub Date: Aug. 5th, 1966
Publisher: Dutton