The author of Red-Dirt Jessie (1992) offers a second novel set in rural Oklahoma. Rosie yearns to have her brother Ronny safely home from Korea. Meanwhile, her troubles at school -- where the other sixth-graders deride her shabby clothes and unkempt hair -- are lightened by a new friend. Cassandra's dad, too, works on an oil rig, but while Rosie's mother died of polio, Cassandra says hers is a Hollywood star. Rumor has it that she has really abandoned her family, but for Rosie, believing her charismatic friend is a point of honor. And, besides, doesn't Cassandra's ""magic"" help Rosie regain her precious locket and win a spelling bee? Cassandra's powers, including a real gift for friendship, are tested when Ronny comes home with a Korean wife and her six-year-old son. Jealous, Rosie tries to enlist her friend's aid in returning them to Korea. A melodramatic event (little Yong So falls into a cistern) causes Rosie to recognize her true affection for them. Myers draws the lonely girls with insight and subtlety, though the reason for Cassandra's deception is not well developed. Rosie's use of double negatives in the first person narrative sits uneasily with her otherwise graceful, literate phrasing (and the fact that she's an able and avid reader), and the gentle, one-dimensional Koreans are merely foils, and not very good ones, for Rosie. Still, an entertaining story with some real strengths.