The thick, sheltering pile of the red velvet room should provide as welcome an escape for readers as for Robin Williams. It is the library of an old boarded up mansion in California, and is lined with cases of fascinating old books, including an intriguing diary kept by a girl of about Robin's age. Robin is the only person with access to the room, and is badly in need of its security. Her family, which includes two sisters and two brothers, has been hard hit by the depression and all the members are migrant workers. She is befriended by an old woman, who tells her stories, and by a wealthy girl her own age. The room is a special source of solace and becomes an almost enchanted world. Before she becomes too cut off from reality, circumstances bring her back into a close relationship with her family. Some of the incidents are forced, but this is offset by the unusual and memorable characterizations, and by the recreation of Robin's imaginary world. By the author of a Season of Ponies (1963).