An ornery lazy kid reformed through a job in a shoeshine parlor? Bulla's little lesson in the value of the work ethic works well because Sarah Ida, exiled to Aunt Claudia's after her best friend is caught shoplifting, is so convincingly angry. Frightened at the prospect of having no spending money, she takes the job to spite Aunt Claudia and gets the surprise of her life when her aunt doesn't object. Then there's A1 the shoeshine man who has obviously known tough kids before and takes her in stride--""anyone can make a mistake. . . That's right. Just don't make too many."" Sarah Ida even gets to mn the shop herself for a few days when Al's hit by a car, but that's just an extra bit of spit and polish that makes its point through the easy interaction of two believably rough-edged characters.