The two older Howard boys learned responsibility in earlier books; not it's 11-year-old Nick's turn, as the family leaves its small Ohio town to live in England. Nick is not happy about leaving his comfortable life, but his father persuades him to give it a try for a few months. That's enough time to acquire friends, join Scouts, become a valued player on the local rugby team, and celebrate holidays familiar (Thanksgiving) and unfamiliar (Guy Fawkes' Day). His participation in a wildly successful Christmas pageant finally converts him from reluctant to enthusiastic temporary resident. Meanwhile, the Howards are the most traditional of families: father gets up and goes to (unspecified) work each morning; mother stays behind to cook, worry (after learning to play rugby, Nick tells his father, ""She should never see a game, Dad. I mean never""), and visit museums. The four brothers are bright, compassionate, supportive, and well-socialized; Nick expertly assumes his inevitable role as unofficial ambassador and becomes even better at it than his father. A wholesome, low-key, good-humored story.