A clichÃ‰d, sentimental trifle that kids will see through in a minute--yet want to believe, regardless. In the class foster-parent project, sixth-grader June--who really does yearn for a foster grandparent (her own are dead, and so is her father)--draws Franklin Cooper, the one resident of Reed's Retirement Ranch who has no interest in a foster grandchild. It's the author's assumption, and everyone else's, that something must all Mr. Cooper (he can't reasonably object, that is, to the weekly company of a strange, unbidden child)-so we're not surprised to learn that he's a childless widower forced to leave his lifetime home when his memory began to fail. And from the moment we hear that his house is still standing unoccupied, and that June's nice waitress-mother Annie is ailing from overwork, the end looms like an obelisk. Franklin will thaw--via a love for plants (which June's mother shares), as well as the less-hackneyed ""act"" he and June perform for the grandparent-child amateur show (bacon-and-eggs fried in a paper bag). Annie will get bleeding ulcers, and have to sell the house to pay her hospital bills. . . . And June will have the brainstorm that--after some fairly realistic discussion between the two adults--will see the three settling in Franklin's house ""like a real family."" This is the kind of writing in which thudding hearts and moist palms and bobbing Adam's apples convey emotion--but June's plucky persistence and everybody's active decency somewhat countervail.