Mary Urmston has written some splendidly human stories for the eight to eleven group- see Betsy and the Proud House. The New Boy Now in a young adult novel whose heroine is a teacher in a strange community, she manages to capture a great deal of life as it is lived in a problematical fifth grade class-room, or a young ladies boarding house, or a gossiping community where even the most altruistic motives start tongues wagging. When Ann Merrill comes to the Brentwood school in Hilton she experiences all these. Right away, by championing a bid to build a playground in another part of town, she is branded with favoritism for a young architect Peter Craig. The twenty-five ""problems"" she teaches range from the pampered to the injuriously self conscious. Undaunted, Ann sticks up for her beliefs, but learns a lesson or two from her kids and from a temporary estrangement from Peter- that make her a bigger, happier person. Firm and satisfying.