Clay Hollis, highschool junior and football hero, discovers love and civil ights in equal doses. He is a semi-boy and a demi-man. Half the time he rings true as an adolescent and the other half he's as hard to take as any wholesome, TV ituation teenager. If all this makes it sound like six-of-one-and-half-dozen-of-the-other as a book, well-- it is. Hollis is the first and only casualty in a mock war that had been dragging along on either side of the local river. His Oklahoma small town had thumped for the North during Civil War days while the opposite arming town had gone Confederate. His little was started over a buddy's britches full of buckshot from some southside hunters and the two sides drew up to shoot at each other's legs on a dull and daily basis. The secret weapon of the south side is women. Two girls, one mulatto and Ruby, her dark complexion the result of a very weak infusion of Negro blood, get the truced and trussed Hollis all shook up. e falls for Ruby like Yeesh... a big sloggy flud"". This forces a reassessment of all sorts of prejudices and the phonetically-spelled out dialogue of his teenage dialect does little to enhance the private and public sermonizing. The moments of high comedy that saved Onionhead for an approving audience are tucked in here too, and it also suggests more success on screen than in print. Like the dividing river, the book rambles and is too shallow for what it is asked to bear.