Though only eleven, Karen gets the family dinner, picks up after her forgetful mother, a busy veterinarian, and generally takes responsibility for organizing the household. But Karen, who's adopted, worries about how her single mother will ever get along without her--so she decides to find her a husband. She lists seven criteria for measuring the candidate (he must like to cook; he must like animals) and is delighted when good-natured Brian comes along and meets all seven. But then Mom starts cooling toward Brian. How could she let this seven-pointer go, Karen asks their wisdom-dispensing handyman Gordon? He replies by adding items eight and nine to Karen's list: ""He must love my mother. She must love him."" Her response: ""Why didn't I think of that?"" Throughout, Karen's campaign is interspersed with attention to the household's large animal collection (a horse is added in the course of the story, and Karen's guinea pig has offspring whom she names Prince Charles and Lady Di), and with warding off the attention of caricatured Mrs. Barnardo, who thinks Karen and her grandson Carlos should get engaged pretty soon. In the end, instead of a father, Karen gets a new sister, another Korean orphan like herself. The author, we're told, is a single parent with six adopted children, four of them Korean. As a light treatment of this situation the story has its points, though it's a little soft for thorough satisfaction.