Lindsey, 12, is the most frequent heroine of these wistful, interrelated family vignettes, each bestowing small, intimate insights with its beautifully evoked scenes of mild domestic drama. Here, Lindsey watches her mother go off to camp, half fearing she'll never return; loses her appetite at a diner when she thinks too hard about the food; witnesses the embarrassingly pointed bickering of an uncle and aunt; and agonizes over the careful crafting of an essay about life--from a potato's point of view. In other stories, pesky neighbor Jordan discovers his dad's real character when they go ""hunting"" and Jordan learns why Dad never brings home any game; newly adopted brother Tu makes a wondering cameo appearance, applying a preschooler's logic to what he supposes arc his family's many versions of his name (""Tu Stubborn""; ""Tu Wonderful""); and--in a sweet, funny story that may be best of all--Lindsey's brother Eric sheds his macho image when he reluctantly enters, and unexpectedly aces, a bird-calling contest. The protagonists here are nil blessedly ordinary; their lives unfold with spare hints and telling details, allowing readers to savor and fill in the familiar, homey scenes with their own experiences. Welcome.