Todd, a dyslexic sixth grader, makes friends with the odd great-aunt who comes to live with his family. At first, Aunt Morbelia, dressed in mourning for her sister Cordelia, is dour and unyielding. She doesn't like the family pets and seems hampered by numerous superstitions. Predictably, these blossom into stories that charm Todd's friends, while his aunt also proves to be a gifted former teacher whose imaginative exercises (like writing with cookie-dough snakes or on unbaked pizza) help Todd master some long-elusive skills. This is a cheery best-case scenario for overcoming a learning disability--since Todd's teachers, parents, and friends are uniformly sympathetic, his frustrations stem only from the disability and not from the usual accompanying emotional overlay: it's more a good prescription than a realistic portrayal. Meanwhile, though Aunt Morbelia is not an altogether likely character, she's an engaging one; readers should enjoy her as much as Todd and his lively friends.