There is some really good writing in these family escapades that capture the tenderness and brutality of childhood- on a more grown up level than most children's books, and with a provocative and healthy sophistication. The Cares are a fairly well heeled family who live near Charlottesville in the country, and consist of Edic- 5, Hubert-8, Jane- 10, Theodore- 13, and their widowed father. The story is principally Jane's. She is thoughtful, earnest, active, sensitive, as excited by the out-of-doors as she is by the temperamental ups and downs of the people around her. But the other children are strong figures too, especially Theodore, self righteous and a bully, whose sense of decency is his tempering core. Easy going Hubert whom Jane finds she has to like even if he is her brother, is as smart as he is lazy and Edie, though relatively mute at five, becomes a person as the others react to her. The children live to the hilt. They engage in each new experience radically- so that it takes some of their skin off- and when their father remarries, that too has to be lived down until they find they want to live with it. Highly rewarding reading.