Kirkus Star


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Lafayette- he likes to be called pete- Carter is 16; his father drinks most of the time and works only occasionally; his mother is negligent; and only his love for his nine year old brother, Francis, who worships him, warms the cold statistics of a long record of delinquency. It is this which sparks the hope of Juvenile Officer, Miss Parrington, who takes him off the hands of casehardened Sgt. Larkin when Lafayette comes home from a work farm, and gets him a job in her brother's garage. There, in spite of those who are trying to help him, the bruised resentments give way once again to violence; he commits assault, and is sent this time to a forestry camp where he is well on the road to reclamation when he has news from home that Francis, lost and lonely, has turned thief. Determined to reach Francis and straighten him out, Pete escapes home to find that Francis, after a brutal session with Sgt. Larkin, has hung himself. With murder in his heart- and the memory of an old promise to Francis- there is the impulse to kill- this time checked by a lesson learned and a greater obligation.... By no means a tract, this small story is tight, tense, tender, and while it wastes no words, permits a tremendous sympathy and commits a marginal society and a system to judgment.

Publisher: Lippincott