By Don Kellin
The adventure story weaves itself around many events that both could have and actually did happen. For these teenagers and their families whose brothers and sisters, sons and daughters were off fighting the war, their summer at the beach was colored by worry and helplessness. Fortunately for Donny and his friends, they find the chance to “do something big—something that counts” right under their noses in the sand under the Rockaway boardwalk. And unfortunately for the Nazis, Donny has a streak of relentlessness that will not be intimidated.The story also brings us a portrait of the developing race consciousness that will sweep the nation after the war. In the character of Sepal Joe, we discover a seemingly fearsome black man who lives under the boardwalk, trying to survive the loss of his family in the deep south. His opportunistic partnership with Donny, Maggie and Ben forms a tense foursome that is hardly ready for what fate is about to deal them.
And finally, The Rockaway Boys and Maggie offers today’s readers a genuine opportunity for catharsis. We can experience here that there was another time, not too far distant, when New York and America were also under attack from powerful forces that wished to destroy us. All of us, including young people, rose to the occasion then, and we eventually triumphed, though not without great sacrifice. This gang offers us great adventure, but they will also be an inspiration to people of all ages who may be worrying how the new challenges that confront us now will turn out.