A hearty family book that takes the vital family issues of today, practically all of them, and manages to bowl along at a healthy rate. The Mitchells' father has gone off to war, and they all combine to live useful, zestful lives in spite of the many heart, difficulties and changes they share with all America. Without moralizings or groaning, this book points out the rather rapturous business of living. A healthy sound, fun book, well written and dramatically sustained. Warm, comfortable stuff, with loads of ordinary animals and swell children who also track mud and sometimes clean it. A little love, a little suspense and a happy ending.