An irrepressible young heroine provides readers with a slice of life along New York State's Hudson River during the Roosevelt era in this epistolary novel. The Depression--at least during the period of September 1937 to June 1938--doesn't dim Hannah's spirits, but she recognizes that it forced her best friend Aggie's family to move away. Hannah's first letters are to Aggie, who never writes back. So Hannah writes to her grandparents who run a candy store in the Bronx, to a pen pal in Kansas, and finally, to President and Mrs. Roosevelt. The movies, radio programs, penny candy treats, and financial hardships of the time come through the prism of Hannah's sweet but never mawkish letters, with their asides, addenda, and postscripts. The White House letters--invented by Skolsky but true to the tone of letters from FDR, Eleanor, and Missy, FDR's secretary--respond to Hannah's daily concerns and also illuminate the private lives of these very public people. Her friendship with Edward, who lives on a farm in Kansas, is developed neatly through a correspondence that starts out badly before blossoming realistically. Hannah's bright, clear voice rings with joy, even when she is grounded for slipping off on the river ferry without permission, and later for swearing at the school bully. Cheery and winning.