This novel, aimed at upper elementary/young teens, is about 6th grader named Louis set in the late 1950s. Louis is surprised to discover that his teacher for the year is a man named Mr. Forster. Mr. Forster is a great teacher and spends a great deal of time with Louis, coaching him in softball and inspiring him to love writing. Suspicions grow about Mr. Forster’s bachelor status and male roommate. The community eventually ousts the teacher. Louis tries to reconcile the community’s actions with what he feels is right.
This book was published in 1981. I am pretty impressed that these themes were front and center in a youth lit book at this time. (For a time context, the American Psychiatric Association had only removed homosexuality from the DSM in 1972.) Is it worth hanging on to? I would probably give this book a qualified yes. This book does have some cultural significance. so it does belong in a library. Would today’s young people like the story? Maybe. Any ALB readers rember this title crossing your path in the olden days?