THE SECOND STONE by Margery W. Brown


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A trumped up story of good kids in a bad neighborhood -- Henry who works at the boys' club after school, Jay who hates sports but is a talented artist, and Ric who has some shady connections but is always around to call the bullies off when someone is in danger. Henry is annoyed that his older brother Dan, a cop, suspects Ric of knowing about or being in on the recent rash of neighborhood robberies and tearful in the end when Ric provides getaway wheels for gang leader Bo and another boy after a holdup, but is killed trying to stop them from taking as hostage Dan's daughter (also good at drawing) and the old lady who has been giving her and Jay art lessons. The conversation is stereotyped (Bo tells Ric, ""Okay, man -- cool it. Just remember when you get tired of playing with little boys, come on over where there's some action"" and Jay introduces himself to the reclusive old lady with ""That's what I like to do best. I draw all the time -- I'd rather draw and make things than go out and play. See, I did this today"") and the tragedy ends in a neatly wrapped lesson for Henry:"" 'Dan, you remember what you told me about not being your own man when you belong to a gang? I'll never fall into that bag -- not now.' 'I'm deeply sorry about what happened today, Henry, I think you've learned something very important but I wish to God you could have learned it some other way.'"" And let's hope reluctant older kids can learn to read some other way.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Putnam