Fifteen-year-old Kenny's story falls more or less into three parts, centering on three separate relationships. The first is with jeering, bad-acting, old buddy Phil, who resents Kenny's application to high school football and tees him off by playing jokes on the new, retarded neighbor, Harold. The second is with Harold himself, whom Kenny begins to help at playing catch and such, along with Harold's nice older brother. And the third is with Rachel, who becomes devoted to Harold because of her own retarded little sister, now dead--and devoted to Kenny as a boyfriend partly (Kenny suspects) because he's so nice with Harold. Kenny, enamored of Rachel, goes along with her Harold Improvement Project, but comes to resent her devotion to the cause--and, later, to a whole school full of retards she insists on taking on. You can hardly blame him for their breakup and his easing away from Harold. Then all three strands come together when Kenny, high from smoking with Phil, runs into Rachel and Harold in a park and bombards them both with a string of insults ending with ""retarded shitface."" In outline, this is like an older, somewhat fuller version of Phyllis Greene's Walkie-Talkie (p. 436, J-108), where hyperactive Richie similarly blows a good friendship with a spastic boy and his groovy babysitter. The extremity of normal Kenny's reaction is a little harder to credit, unless you accept that the pot would do it. Overall, though, this is believable enough, and broadly sympathetic--just a little short on pith, and so diffuse in impact.