This is almost a philosophical dissertation on practical versus spiritual values and most of it over the heads and interests of ordinary readers this age. Thoughtful, sensitive young people may find something in this story of Luke wrestling with the problems of determining values for himself. Orphaned, Luke goes to live with practical Uncle Henry who is a good man, positive and domineering but fair. The contest between shy, aware Luke and his beefy, thorough Uncle, and indifferent, well-meaning Aunt, materializes around old Dan, a half-blind, useless collie with whom Luke falls in love. The boy and dog make a secret world for each other. Uncle Henry decides the dog must be killed because he is old and good for nothing. Luke almost loses the battle, but after saving the dog's life, he acquires wisdom in handling practical men, and keeps the dog. The compromise is made over a good business proposition. Adults will be interested -- the writing is moving but the characterizations are too rooted in talk to interest youngsters.