Finally, some 11-year-olds you'd really want to hang with. Mary Ellen Bobowick and her best friend, Justine Kelly, are smart and sophisticated preteens. Eating Chinese food one night -- with chopsticks, of course -- Mary Ellen gets a fortune cookie that warns of bad luck to come. The youngster, who wants to be a biologist like her mother, has a scientific mind and scoffs at the dire prediction. But when a stream of misfortune comes her way, she begins to wonder if the cookie hadn't had a point. First she breaks the mirror in Dr. Bobowick's great-grandmother's antique silver mirror-and-brush set. Then she discovers that Justine is moving to France for a year, fights with Justine, drops a jar of Career Day fruit flies in her classroom, and gets sprayed by a skunk! And that's only part of it. But eventually things look up for Mary Ellen -- in the form of her handsome classmate Ben, as she confides in best pen pal, Justine -- and she discovers that all the bad luck was simple, scientific cause-and-effect, nothing more. Classic characters for Generation Y from LeMieux (The TV Guidance Counsellor, 1993).