Spending the summer outside of tiny Barnhart, Texas, with his great-aunt Dora and uncle Joe Bob is not 11-year-old Andy Bradford's idea of a good time. If he has to go to Texas, he hopes for a ranch like ""Dallas"" South Fork. What he finds is a rundown farm, his unglamorous aunt and uncle, and Bernie--who turns out to be a girl. in trying to impress Bernie and other local kids, Andy gets accused of setting fire to a neighbor's barn. During the ensuing questioning by the sheriff, a young farmhand with whom Andy has formed a tenuous friendship comes forward to testify on Andy's behalf, thus putting himself, an illegal alien, in danger. This refreshingly funny novel will make any reader laugh aloud; yet it also manages, subtly, to convey important messages about prejudice, peer pressure, friendship, and the strong ties that may exist in a family, even among relatives who do not know each other well. Fast-paced, entertaining reading that will appeal to both boys and girls.