A sympathetic, restrained, and admirably open-minded discussion of a topic long overdue to be brought out of the closet. Usually dealt with only in its most sensationalized aspects (like the Dean Corll murder of 27 youths), this is in fact serious business, with at least 300,000 boys (""chickens"") under 18 regularly selling their bodies to older men (""chicken hawks"") for between $15 or $20 a throw. The author goes into the life-styles and backgrounds of the chickens (usually lower middle-class runaways from broken homes) and the chicken hawks (happily married lawyers, bus drivers, traveling salesmen, athletes, politicians) who in an odd and admittedly imperfect way nonetheless supply the affection these boys desperately crave. For, contrary to general belief--and inflammatory press tales--this is a peculiarly non-violent world (heterosexual offenders against children are much more likely to use force), and statistics show that at least half the time the boys encourage the adult ""offender,"" and, when caught, almost never testify against him. But there is violence: in a country where a minimum of 60,000 children die each year of child abuse, and more particularly in the institutions that systematically reinforce the very activity these boys are being punished for. The author suggests exchanging our institutions for half-way houses, small homes (only 6 boys) run by sympathetic couples, even gay foster parents--and, of course, ridding our society of its intense homophobia. Anyone who reads this thoughtful and shocking book will be sure to agree.