Barbara Barry is the kind of thirteen-year-old whose first brassiere falls out of her bloomer leg but whose heart is always in the right place. Aunt Grace is one of the first to get electricity in 1925 Oregon; the Barrys are less fortunate--with Dad dead, things are kind of tough. Most of Barbara's efforts are just badly planned, yet the same kind of impulsiveness that finds her mud-puddling when her first date arrives also defends great-grandpa from mocking teenagers at the candy store. Her great expectation is an Indian necklace her namesake great-great-grandmother received from a brave who admired her courage. Barbara's schemes are more comic than heroic until the Christmas night she's stormed in with a baby cousin at Grace's (i.e. stranded without electricity); she shows her mettle she always had the spunk--and wins the beads. Her chronic self-doubting and flashes of insight are somewhat overdone but a few of her predicaments are rare enough to give the book flavor.