cover image Stranger, You & I

Stranger, You & I

Patricia Calvert / Author Scribner Book Company $12.95 (152p)

""Buddies'' is the classification Hughie gives to his friendship with Zee, a tomboy who seems to have blossomed into a young woman overnight. When Hughie finally asks her for a date, he doesn't realize that she is five months pregnant. The father of the baby doesn't care about Zee, but Hughie does; Calvert's story explores the ways in which Hughie tries to reach out and help Zee in her lonely condition. Surprisingly, this isn't about teenage pregnancy as much as it is about the depth of platonic love. And in loving and helping Zee, Hughie becomes aware of his own place in his family, where he has always felt like an invisible middle child. The story is most moving when the focus is on the friendship; the family and school scenes have less impact. But Hughie's perspectiveuninvolved physically, immersed emotionallyis unusual and engrossing. Ages 12-up. (November)