The author of Toliver's Secret (1976) has found herself another scrappy heroine and fashioned another historical challenge. Eleven-year-old Dorsy McCurdy is disgruntled because her new stepmother confines her to the parlor and ladylike pursuits; small stepbrother Brandon is a pest, ten-year-old Tyler is a ""pickle""; and, anyhow, Dorsy loved living with her father at Mrs. Pringle's Boarding House for Congressmen on Capitol Hill. But something bigger is afoot in Washington City that summer of 1814, and in the gathering storm Dorsy discovers that Tyler is as unhappy with his new lot as she is with hers. The actual British attack finds Dorsy and Tyler together comforting Brandon, and Mother leaning unaccustomedly on both of them. For Dorsy, there'll be no more guilty wishing on a White Toad for the lot of them to go away. Obvious as it all is, Brady effectively puts herself in Dorsy's place and youngsters with a modicum of interest in the course of events (which aren't belabored) won't find it difficult to do either.