Just as little Lucy Johnston's name is no coincidence, you can assume that these episodes from a childhood spent on the edge of nowhere -- Wales, North Dakota in 1916 -- are faithful reconstructions of the author's own experiences. Like many less isolated children, Lucy feels that nothing much ever happens in her home town, but the most memorable thing about the major events of her third-grade year is that they are so ideally proportioned to her need for adventure. The Weather plays a primary role as first she and brother Amory are snowed in for several days and must boil drinking water, stoke the fire and do their own cooking. Later Lucy nearly gets lost in a blizzard on her way home from school and saves bratty Dorrie and Morrie from a tornado as part of her first babysitting job. Most important, her New Year's wish for girlfriends her own age is answered with the arrival of the new minister's three daughters, improbably and indicatively named Gwendolyn, Gwinyth and Guinevere. Homey recollections, enlivened by father Johnston's pro-feminist sentiments and the almost-frontier setting.