DeClements' latest is a timely, provocative novel about a smart, tough, confused 12-year-old who finally receives the kind of parenting she needs. While Copper Jones' alcoholic mother is ""drying out"" in a rehab center, Copper visits her maternal aunt, who has three girls of her own. Aunt Dorothy is a sour woman with little empathy; it's clear that she's displacing her bitter feelings toward her sister onto her niece, resenting the similarities in behavior that daughter and mother seem to share. It isn't long before Copper is shunted off to her maternal uncle and his charming but superficial wife. While they are out one evening, having left Copper alone, the apartment is broken into. So Copper has to go; uncle is running for Senator, and he can't afford any risk of bad publicity. Finally, Copper is handed over to her paternal aunt, Maggie, an herbalist, white witch, and holistic type--a caring, sensible woman who provides Copper with the nurturing she desperately needs. By story's end, Copper realizes that although she'll eventually have to deal with (and ultimately separate from) her mother, she'll always have Aunt Maggie to turn to: a comforting thought for Copper--and the reader. A highly readable and satisfying novel featuring a very likable heroine.