Australian Richard Parker who has written about the young for adults, as well as for them (Voyage to Tasmania -- 1963), spends a few weeks with nine year old Cricket, a nickname for Darton Morley, when his parents go away. Cricket insists he is never lonely and panics at the thought of staying with his Aunt Bel who has four children in the house. Actually he is afraid of other people and running away from then. Sent instead to his grandmother, he gradually learns to enjoy playing with his peer group through Rain, a little Pakistani girl, and then is ready to move on and out into the world.... The remove in place, and on occasion seemingly in time, does not detract from the quiet realism of the story or the gentle way in which its objective is accomplished.