Mr. Beim has an extraordinary gift for vitalizing phases of juvenile emotional problems which few authors are willing to handle. In the first place, this story of a ""skinny Percy"" with glasses -- the perennial butt of classroom snickers -- may well succeed in straightening several little backbones, and thin shoulders. Also, Mr. Beim makes it plain that one's parents are not infallible -- that adults can grow, too, in understanding and humanity. When Jeff and his family moved across the bridge from his grandmother's neat home to a factory town across the river, he hoped that this move would bring magical results. Perhaps his fourteen-year-old brother Donnie would stop calling him girls' names when he couldn't play all the boys' games because of his glasses. Perhaps he would make a boy friend. But he found his friend turned out to be a girl -- Tessie- in spite of the fact that once he had innocently called her a ""Polack"" -- a name his mother had used disparagingly. But Jeff learns how to have pride in himself, helped by Tessie, a new lame friend, Sid, and his intelligent aunt and uncle. Mother learns something, too, about people and broadens her relations with people. A full, rich story which is absorbing reading.