An effectively managed story of a dog, a family, a mountain, and a reluctant community. Moonshadow, who came to the Riley family when teenaged Greg was adopted at nine, has had the run of the mountain. Now a nine-year-old sister is adopted and her allergies require Moonshadow's exile from the house. Around the same time a hippie couple move in with tents and hand-build a cabin; and although their friendly kindness and unusual tolerance of Moonshadow's harassment eventually wins over the Rileys, it takes newcomer Theo's deskunking of the clog before Moonshadow herself will accept the intruders. More trouble comes from the belligerent Katz family, who show up in a prefab with their houseful of cats. Mr. Katz pays a visit with his gun to settle the dog-and-cat disputes; and when one cat shows up dead (from Katz' own poison, it turns out), he blames Moonshadow and demands her life in return. There are other problems (are hawks, a fox, or Moonshadow killing old Mr. Cherry's chickens?), other changes for Moonshadow (fences, bulldozers, a new German shepherd with whom she must contend for territory), and parallel frictions for Greg and his parents, who have to learn to accommodate the new sister and adjust to unwanted neighbors. Smith conveys all this without preaching or obvious contrivance or heavy underlying of the parallels, and from a point of view that flows unobtrusively from Greg's to cool observer's to the fringes of Moonshadow's own. The story is plain and simple on the surface, strengthened by a solid network of roots.