Her divorced mother and her fluffy older sister both have live-in boyfriends (both, as it happens, named Charlie), and Sibella, a 15-year-old mechanical/electrical/plumbing wonder kid who handymans for neighbors and local merchants, wants a boy too. Her sister, an outrageous straw figure, tries to fix her up, but does it crudely. (""Look, you're 15,"" she says. ""You're not even on the pill."") Sibella falls in love with a newspaper photo of a boy who works at a midget raceway, and she goes straight off to tell him so. He's a drifter, a low-lifer, a rejected child who lives alone in an abandoned building, but she follows him around, dumps her longing on him, and eventually, for a surprise, buys him the van of his dreams with her saved-up earnings. After a heady Christmas Eve in the back of the van (""As his lips touched hers, she knew why she had been born""), he splits for Florida at midnight, leaving her tempted by and then rejecting suicide within the last few pages. This is all related in a pulpy, anguished, hi-lo prose style with none of Zindel's satiric edge or imagination.