Caught in his second act of breaking and entering, Dirk Lander, seventeen, serves his year of probation on a lawyer's horse ranch as an alternative to the State Farm. The lawyer's life had once been saved by Dirk's father who died when the boy was twelve. Since his mother had died when Dirk was a young child, much of the boy's life had been in the care of an aunt and an uncle who did their duty without affection and with far more interest in their own children. What happens to a boy to start him on a path of delinquent behavior and what may help him to regain his place in society are elements well-integrated in this novel of one boy's rehabilitation. In Dirk's case, the friendship of his host's daughter, the discipline of chores, and the pride of accomplishment in the recognition accorded his very real artistic talent substantially aid his assumption of a more mature outlook. The novel is a better one than the jacket or its blurb would indicate.