Kirkus Star


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The Davis family is poor. And, if it weren't for the willing suspension of disbelief that readers will gladly give to the over-happy ending of this well written story for younger girls, they would have been likely to stay poor. They would have stayed poor because of two causal factors that seldom get any attention at all in Juvenile books about contemporary Poverty or near-poverty--the financial disaster of chronic illness and a charming, unskilled, rather unreliable father, both integral parts of this novel of incidents. The central character is Franny, but it is really a novel about the stresses and pleasures of family life in a crowded apartment. Her noonday friend is Simone, a captions, sensitive girl Frauny can only get to see her and keep this necessary friendship going during noon hour recess. Her mother works, her father looks for work, and the apartment and pre-schooler brother (best drawn character in the book) are her responsibility after school. The rush and pinch of living close to the bone are caught and shared imaginatively--the pain of the not-quite-right, made-over skirt, the awe of the two girls at the thought of having a father who owns ""a whole building."" Good dialogue, recognizable people, real situations unfocussed a bit by the unlikely advent of the perfect job for likeable Mr. Davis.

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 1965
Publisher: Harper & Row