In this publisher's new Growing Up In America Series, this is an easy, engaging but minor memoir of a boyhood spent on the ""enchanted isle"" of Manhattan at the turn of the century. It tells of his life with his grandparents in a little apartment over the cigar store his granpa owned, and of the many people of all nationalities that he met. The child of divorced parents, and the son of the second woman lawyer ""whose picture was in the paper"", young Manuel seems to have accepted his life with great aplomb and a stammer was the only mark of his divided home. His interests ranged from the first automobiles to a shoemaker and his handmade shoes. He was nine before he made his first trip to the country- for his great grandfather's funeral. He loved bonfires, gang fights, and the waterfront, and all in all he had every reason to be glad that the world did not end on New Year's Eve- 1900- as he had been led to believe that it would.... Friendly, family reading, which has however none of the thoughtful distinction of Alfred Kazin's Manhattan memoir- A Walker in the City.