then again maybe i wont

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  • Eleven-year-old Tony Miglione likes living with his family in Jersey City. He has hard-working parents, a brother who teaches junior high and a sister-in-law with a baby on the way. (His oldest brother died in Vietnam before the story starts.) Grandma, mute after cancer of the larynx, joyfully cooks for the family.
  • The Migliones' financial worries end suddenly when Dad sells his invention, an electrical cartridge, to an electronics company.
  • life on Long Island makes Tony anxious. Mom becomes increasingly concerned with appearances and social standing. She defers to the new maid who insists Grandma stay out of the kitchen. Grandma becomes depressed and rarely leaves her bedroom.
  • Joel repeatedly shoplifts in front of Tony, and Tony wrestles with his conscience about whether to report the boy. On top of everything else, Tony's hormonal changes plague him.
  • After witnessing one of Joel's shoplifting sprees, Tony's stomach pains cause him to collapse on the sidewalk. He's hospitalized and tested for medical problems.
  • The physicians find nothing and refer him to a psychologist named Dr. Fogel. With Dr. Fogel, Tony is finally able to speak openly about his stress and confusion. He begins to learn to deal with his anxiety and the changes in life.
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