F. C. Smith

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 151

In two earlier books Mr. Felsen has presented the activities of Bertie Poddle, fat boy. In general, Bertie's problems are those of any 15-year-old boy. That he is fat simply accentuates them. He wants to be liked, especially by his girl friend. He wants to win a spectacular place in the backfield, not an obscure one in the line….

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[In "Bertie Makes a Break"] Bertie wants money to match the sizable bank accounts his best friends earned at summer camp. He becomes an unwitting party to a swindle, but later helps to trick Mr. Sleemish, the perpetrator, at his own game. But the most important thing Bertie does is to grow up…. Except for an occasional lapse into caricature, all is done with appealing humor and genuine understanding.

F. C. Smith, "Teen-Age Trouble," in The New York Times Book Review (© 1949 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), October 16, 1949, p. 26.

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Margaret C. Scoggin