Here, C.G. Draper--a husband and wife team--turns out a low-key account of a year in the life of Ned Scott, age about 14, with each self-contained chapter centering on a holiday. The whole is united by Ned's refreshingly normal life, affluent but sympathetic parents, and quick comprehension of his experiences. The true meaning of each holiday is gently emphasized by the events: Ned's grandfather (a mill owner) puts family unity above his own conservative labor practices in order to celebrate Christmas as a time of rejoicing; sincere affection replaces a phony romantic relationship in the Valentine segment; and, in ""The Passover Easter,"" the Angel of Death spares Ned's sister. Most subtly, Ned discovers his own independent mind on the Fourth of July. While there is little suspense here and the short-story form keeps some characters only briefly on stage, the humor and intelligence in the telling evoke a warmth akin to nostalgia for positive values.