When two foster children write their names on an old mailbox found in a junkyard, they both begin to receive strange messages. Monnie, almost ten, gets a miniature broom with the words "sweep clean," a "Voo-don't" doll that brings good to people, and a mirror from which emerges another Monnie who does the bad things that the real Monnie had wished to do. For Bim there's a small wand, a strange little light, and finally a silver star through which both children are transported to an old house with a mysterious old woman knitting fates and the doubles of both children taunting and tempting them. Overcoming their "bad" selves in an undramatic encounter, the two are released; the seventh and last gift from the mailbox is a pair of miniature houses just like the one Monnie had always dreamed of--and, they learn, just like the one to which both will be going to live until they grow up. But the magic is as arbitrary as the real-life happy ending, the gifts mostly mechanical gimmicks with no compelling power, and the self-confrontations perfunctory.