With its strong sense of place (East Texas) and almost tangible atmosphere--summer heat, wildlife, details of farm life--emanating from every page, this junior novel must surely have been written out of the author's own experience. Charlotte Ramsden (Carrots) is 12 when she learns that life on the family dairy farm and her personal creative life (she's a poet) are about to be disrupted by the arrival of her 11-year-old European cousin, recently orphaned. Emiglia (Miggle), educated in London, has led a sheltered life. At first she is appalled at the rough, hard farm life and thinks it unladylike. But in the course of a year she learns the value of being part of a family. Carrots, a wonderfully drawn character whose story this essentially is, is her teacher. She also defends her at school, where both must deal with being different (both are very bright). When Emiglia is invited to live in California with well-to-do relatives, she politely refuses. She has learned to love her life with the Ramsdens. This story is full of vitality and spirit, vivid in setting, and has the ring of truth.