A curiously distasteful concoction--in which unpleasant things keep happening to unlikable people. Ten-year-old Martha thinks she's an orphan because, to start with, she's the only one in her family with green eyes, and the only one with ""a stupid name."" She can't have a dog, says her Foreign Service father, because the family moves too much; now he wants to get rid of Ronald Reagan, the black Labrador who followed her home. Parker, the nasty girl in her new Georgetown school, becomes her friend only to turn nasty again. When her father goes off to South America, her mother gets a full-time job and puts her into an awful after-school group. Her friendly little brother Kermit gets along even there. She meets an eccentric, quarrelsome old couple, the Ables, who speak of having ""lost"" their daughter Arabella--who ""used to say if she had a daughter of her own, she would call her something plain like Martha."" They, she decides, must be her real grandparents. Mr. Able's disposition, moreover, is as rotten as hers. Things go from bad to worse and worse--Martha trying not to find Ronald Reagan's owner, and trying to find the missing Arabella--until Christmas Day. Then her father bursts on the ghastly scene; her parents turn oat to be much nicer than Arabella and kin; her father suggests she share ownership of Ronald Reagan with Parker; and Parker confides she's an adopted child (and hates the very idea). Presumably, Martha is insecure from all that moving--but that's no more believable than the rest of it.