Planted here like a couple of unwilling radishes"" -- this is Marty talking, about herself and another youngster, and the here is a state correctional institution for girls. Her father is the head of it, looking sadder, more tired and more faded every year. And Marty has been ""eating (herself) up from the inside, pretty soon there would be nothing left but the shell."" She's determined to get out; her mother did -- she died. Particularly since she can't get through to her father any more -- he's so preoccupied with all the other girls he has to reach. Well this story, her story, takes place within a few days when she identifies herself with Marie, another girl who's brought in snarling, spitting, and clawing -- and they cut out into Marie's neon world of sleazy untruths -- until they are brought back and she must face what she's been stubbornly, savagely repudiating --somebody's got to do something.... Mrs. Reed, ever since Mother Isn't Dead She's Only Sleeping, established herself as a writer with a special talent for the Instant insights and smarting candor of the young. This is perhaps a special book, but it is spunky, touching and marvelously alive.