. . . all the unfriendly neighbors end up in Gram's sturdier house and a lot of misconceptions get swept out to sea. Gram is a strange, prickly one, attached to her old stove, kerosene lamp, and good-manners-first, and grandson Gene, summer-visiting while his parents work elsewhere, prefers the all-ethnic kids nearby. But when the winds pick up, the newcomer families--Quigleys, Steins, and Leopardis--file in for protection and a night of surprising appreciations. They're cool and uncooperative at first but a bucket brigade warms things up, a dinner (pasta, hot dogs, blintzes, and chocolate roll) draws them together, and an evening of stories extends the feeling. In the morning, old resentments are aired, new understandings articulated. Kids may find this a bit preachy--Gene's too busy reaching important recognitions to be much of a boy--but Gram emerges as a crusty, resourceful survivor.