Some of the most subtle, and hence most difficult to combat, forms of racial strife occur When neighborhoods first become ""mixed."" In this issue-directed book, the course of action offered is ""easy does it;"" just ldo things ""natural-like and without any fuss."" That's how Chip Woodman acted when the first Negro family to enter the neighborhood moved next door. He was the first to know that the Reeses were planning to buy the house, but it didn't occur to him to pass the word along about their color. Later, ostracized by all his friends for this, it seemed only natural to him to become friends with the only boy his age left--A.L. Reese. When everyone on the block agrees to a boycott of the Reeses, Chip is puzzled; they're ""...just the same as any other family on the block"" he kept urging. Are they? Most of the white people appear to be skilled laborers; but Mr. Reese has a college degree in engineering, A.L. has had advanced schooling, they are all good looking, extraordinarily neat, utterly patient and generous in their feelings, and a close relative is a famous ball-player. In contrast is the ring-leader of the opposition, who has the messiest lawn, the worst disposition and the poorest grammar of the group. Well the resolution does come pretty easy--when everyone realizes that Mr. Reese has stoically accepted the blame for a dog that Chip's father had accidentally run over. The simple, direct answer is demonstrated with utmost logic, but it doesn't have the nuances of reality. It's far less sensitively written than the author's excellent The Loner (1963) and The Rumptydoolers (1964).