PETER AND BUTCH by Joan Phipson


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Butch is what cherub-faced, curly-haired Peter likes to be called so he won't be taken for a sissy. By any name he's Exhibit A of the boy who mistakes a rough, tough front for manliness--and unfortunately that's just what he is here, an exhibit: ""There was no doubt that the worldly, confident manner had its attraction and especially for someone like Peter who wanted to prove his own toughness. But now that he knew what lay behind it, now that he knew, or guessed, this toughness was precisely what Raymond (who's goaded him into fury in a friendly boxing match) was also trying to prove, he began to see, as he had with Tex (who's strung him along on a robbery), where the image was artificial."" After the dawning comes the light of day, in the person of older teen David Miller: ""His notions of right and wrong were firm and unshakable. It did not matter to him if people disagreed with him. He knew what he thought and why he thought it. For anyone as easily blown by the winds of chance, rumor, and current fashion as Peter, getting to know David was a salutary experience."" Salutary perhaps for adults involved in child guidance (like the Police Boys Clubbers here) but too much clogged introspection and too many shafts of brilliant illumination for kids. Joan Phipson is usually more circumspect.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1969
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World