A fictionization of the problem of minority groups and community prejudices gives the chance for a wide survey of Los Angeles' Mexican town during the war. Young Angel Garcia is elbowed out of his chance to star in the high school play through the insularity of a new teacher and joins his friend, Manuel, in playing hockey. He lands a job in a burlesque house; his sister plans marriage with a ""white"" man; the terrorization of the zoot-suiters grows and all Mexicans are in danger. In the crisis of the clash between the aroused citizenry and the lawless gangs when no quarter is given to those of another color, both Angel and his sister come to a full realization of what their race and their Americanization mean and reach full adulthood. A warm understanding of the ways of a Mexican community and its family life and an interest in the problem at hand give an honesty to what is not a top flight novel.