Prickly, unlovable Morgan narrates the third book in Vail's Friendship Ring trilogy (If You Only Knew, 1998, not reviewed), presenting what amounts to an autobiography in flashback as she waits nervously to be called on in class. The assignment for seventh-grade Creative Writing was to bring ten self-defining items to class in a paper bag; too late, Morgan realizes that she will have to explain each item's meaning. She has gathered tokens of embarrassingly personal meaning: a St. Christopher medal, a spatula, a Barbie doll's head, a box of candy, a twig, and more. Every one recalls a seismic incident in her life, from her father's departure to shifts in her relationships with friends, boys, and her mother; everyone gives readers a key to unlocking Morgan's tough defenses to reveal the vulnerability beneath. For all her anger and mean behavior, she doesn't lack for courage, and in the end acquits herself well enough in front of friends and classmates to earn a rare nod of approval from a fearsomely demanding teacher. Readers drawn by the previous books, or the series' eye catching, CD-size format, won't exactly like Morgan, but they will end up admiring her.