Natalie's eagerly awaited stay at camp with best friend Corinne doesn't go as she anticipated. It's 1946, the summer before junior high, and Corinne has agreed that they will "be like glue" and "stick together every single minute." Still, Corinne and pretty Arlette become swim buddies, leaving Natalie stuck with stuttering Gretchen and her file of animal facts. Aware that she has hurt Gretchen's feelings, angry over the offensive remarks of another girl, Marlys, about Jews, humiliated when the camp director's son accidentally sees her in the buff, and missing Corinne's friendship, Natalie decides to go home; but then she and Gretchen agree to stay and join the others for an overnight--which turns into a fiasco. Their worst fears are realized when Marlys gets polio and they are all sent home. It has been a difficult time for kind, sensitive Natalie, a summer she won't forget. This episodic novel has almost a soap-opera's embarrassment of riches when it comes to plot, but Levinson has nicely nailed down the essence of the early postwar period as well as the dynamics and politics of preadolescent girls.