An evocative first novel--set in 1940's Tennessee--about unlearning old fears and prejudices. Salina spouts beliefs and opinions that she has heard from the adults around her, as unbending a 12-year-old as readers are likely to encounter this season. She doesn't trust the young veterinarian, an American-horn German, or believe that a proposed new road could bring more positive growth than destruction. Most particularly, she dislikes a new girl, Scooter, who not only wears a patchwork coat but believes that Rhett and Scarlett are sundered at the end of Gone with the Wind The atmosphere of a community festering with old biases is authentically delineated here, while Salina's eventual realization of the need for change is wholly believable. Fortunately, the message is rounded out with lively characters, period details, and the sustained use of Salina's childlike point of view.