"Adroit plotting, a brisk pace, the offbeat scenario, and well- individualized characters add up to an unusually thoughtful and appealing novel. (Fiction. 9-12)"
Drawing on the experience of having her own home gutted by fire, then restored with the help of friends, an author known for her incisive and compassionate portraits of troubled children (Return to Bitter Creek, 1986) portrays an 11-year-old whose friendship with the woman next door grows out of a similar set of events.
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