In this book in the Ernestine & Amanda series, the friends take alternating chapters to tell the story of their summer vacations spent at vastly different camps. Both are sent away while their parents deal with family problems, and neither is thrilled by the prospect. Amanda goes to Camp Castle, an upscale camp where she is one of the few African-Americans, while Ernestine goes to Hilltop, an all-black camp. Amanda, occasionally mean-spirited, has the harder road: Her parents are splitting up, and she gradually realizes she is not as accepted as she had thought among her white campmates. The format allows readers to compare aspects of the girls' experiences and personalities; Belton (From Miss Ida's Porch, 1993, etc.) never makes the parallels and contrasts too broad or obvious. Aside from independent reading, the novel translates well to classroom use, offering interesting issues (e.g., the pros and cons of integration and segregation), thoughtfully treated.