Penny, 11, would rather live on a farm than in her friendly Michigan neighborhood; but since the likelihood of such a move seems remote, she turns her imagination and energies to writing a play, hoping that--with her friend Athelstan as director--the neighborhood kids will get involved and they'll have a hit. The play is a success, but not for the reasons Penny imagined. And despite her father's mysterious behavior, she never could have guessed that by the book's end she'd be facing a move to New York City. Although all the right elements are in place here--a spunky heroine, a supporting cast of funny characters, and a nice little mystery--they never meld enough to get this story off the ground. Mildly entertaining, but not up to the tale-spinning quality of Jane's first book, Noelle of the Nutcracker (1986).