The story of a twelve-year-old boy who learns to live with diabetes, this has a lifelike background and a nice natural ring that puts it a cut above others of its kind. As his seventh-grade year begins, Jimmy is disgruntled to find he's lost weight over the summer, though he'd tried to gain for the junior high wrestling team. He's also thirsty and hungry, ""has to go"" a lot (one teacher scolds him for ""hanging out"" in the boys' room), and blows up at his brother David. His condition is diagnosed when he passes out and ends up in the hospital. (Seeing the other, badly-off patients in the emergency room, ""I wanted to jump up and run out pretending it was all a joke. I wished I could say 'Ha, ha, take me home.' But I couldn't. I was too weak."") During his week or so in the hospital, he's told what diabetes is (and that Catfish Hunter and Bobby Orr both have it) and introduced to the necessary routines for controlling it. The whole family must then get used to daily shots, regular meals, and those occasional emergencies which he'll meet with candy lifesavers. For human interest there's a little subplot about best friend Margaret, a Puerto Rican classmate Jimmy can't visit without being beaten up in the neighborhood; about her cousin and new companion Santiago who arouses Jimmy's jealousy until they get to know each other; and about the kisses he and Margaret begin to share as their friendship grows up with them. All this helps the medicine go down without a snag.