A promising first novel about a boy who stubbornly resists change. When Grady's best friend Mouse moves to California, Grady can see just one sequel: he and his mother must leave their Minnesota home to follow. But Mom, while understanding Grady's misery, expects him to become friends with Burgess Dockerty, whose family now shares their two-family house. Grady, who considers the orange-haired, small-for-his-age Burgess a creep, spends most of the book trying to avoid him--especially since he considers Burgess a threat to his plan to run away and join Mouse. Burgess, of course, turns out to be more of a friend than Grady has understood. Strommen gives the standard situation depth with well-realized characterizations and some funny set-pieces. Not as tightly plotted as it might have been, but consistently entertaining.