Gina Gari has a strong and loving relationship with her grandfather, who has paid attention to her while everyone else in her family seems indifferent--most especially, she's shared his love of yo-yos. When he dies, Gina is devastated. With emotional honesty and subtle humor, Howe's opening chapters are believable, but the story quickly slides into an uneven treatment of a girl's coming of age, with many of the later scenes--particularly those surrounding Gina's changing attitudes toward herself and her grandmother--predictable and heavy-handed. The reason for her grandmother's mysterious last request is intended to pique interest, but what Gina actually learns seems so forced that it falls fiat. Some themes here are similar to those in Howe's The Game of Life (1989); this will also have popular appeal, but it's less skillfully written.