LUKE WAS THERE by Eleanor Clymer


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Eleanor Clymer evidently read in the papers a while back about the psychological damage (and consequent disruptive behavior) that concerned the staff of a children's home when a young conscientious objector who worked there as a popular counselor was forced by his draft board to transfer to a hospital. From this comes the story of Julius, abandoned in turn by his father, uncle and stepfather and then (with his younger brother Danny) sent to a home when his mother is hospitalized. At the home Julius becomes attached to Luke, the counselor who then has to leave just like the young man in the news report. Sucked into shoplifting by another kid who then blames Julius, the boy takes off and roams the city for a few days, returning only for the sake of a scared, homeless younger boy he picks up in Grand Central Station and takes back to the shelter. The new boy's dependence, Danny's reaction to his absence, his mother's concern, and above all Luke's taking time off from the hospital to help look for him, all convince Julius that people do care -- an overdone, upbeat ending to a not particularly strong story. However, the grubby incidentals of Julius' weekend on the town (bumming and boosting food, sleeping in the park with a derelict), combined with the reassuring outcome, add up to just the measure of reality that is generally acceptable.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1973
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston