A Swiss boarding school for girls, correct, strict, demanding and cosmopolitan, sets the scene for a rare teen-age novel, never banal, with fully realized characters. No mass-produced assembly line story for teens, this is another first- person narration -- of Elise Leonard, hale, hearty American and 16, somewhat undisciplined, plunged into the formality of Europe's dignity and decorum. Her classmates, an American troubled by her father's second marriage, European girls who scoff at American ways and her verboten though harmless flirtation with Jim, an American boy, her clandestine correspondence and gay adventure with him on the school tour of Venice, the classic grandeur of Rome,- all communicate with validity one innocent's experiences abroad. Elise's reunion with her mother marks a milestone as the girl accepts and submits to the positive values of an alien code which had seemed austere earlier. Told with finesse.