Annie and her best friend Rachel are not yet 13, and Annie in fact is a fairly young 12, not at all eager to take on all that 13 implies. Her small world is shaken when Rachers parents get divorced and Rachel prepares to move to the city; and she is young enough to show her jealousy when Rachel takes the move in stride and makes some friends from her future school. Already down about Rachel's coming move, Annie suffers another big blow, the death of her aging dog; but Miles, to her credit, neither wallows in Annie's problems nor magically dispels them at the end. The story's small moments ring true to a 12-year-old's experience, whether Annie is feeling self-consciously suburban in New York with Rachel, regretting the grown-up nightgown she's insisted on buying for a slumber party (the other girls all show up in their old pajamas), or cringing with embarrassment when her older brother's friend (""I could just feel him trying not to look at my chest"") turns and catches her checking out her T-shirt. And the steps Annie takes toward 13 in the course of the story are realistically small and unforced as well.