cover image Rhoda, Straight and True

Rhoda, Straight and True

Roni Schotter. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, $11.95 (181pp) ISBN 978-0-688-06157-9

In this tale, a young girl discovers that different is not necessarily bad. Set in Brooklyn in 1953, this story chronicles 12-year-old Rhoda's summer, which begins with the Royal Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and ends with the truce in Korea. Rhoda and her friends Hattie and Mary Jane start the summer by trying to find out if Mr. and Mrs. Rose are really Russian spies, as everyone says. Certainly the Roses don't act like anyone they've ever metMr. Rose doesn't even have a regular job. Then there are the terrible Mancys, all 13 of them, from strange Fig, who's in Rhoda's class, to vicious Baby Nicotine. But as the summer progresses Rhoda finds herself drawn to the mysterious Fig, leaving her at odds with her old friends. Fig is not Rhoda's only surprise, as she discovers not only the truth about the Roses but about others as well. The moral is a little obvious and heavyhanded, but the sense of locale is nicely-drawn, with original characters and humor rounding out a pleasant story. (9-12)