A group of children discover a small stone with a piece of blue metal mysteriously, and apparently permanently, wedged into it. In a tug-of-war dispute over the stone, two girls manage to slide the metal out and in the process are overwhelmed by an indefinable sense of magic. The stone becomes a mystic bond between the two very different girls--13-years-old Caroline, the lonely sheltered daughter of an author who stays aloof from the family which he has isolated in the country, and Alice, whose large family has moved from London to a low-income housing development, and who has already become hardened by the city life. In searching for the secret of the stone they develop a very special, if necessarily transitory, friendship. The unusual relationship between the two somewhat forlorn girls and their mutual feeling of wonder are handled with sympathy; however the sense of magic, stated only in relation to the stone, is never satisfactorily shared with the reader, and the result is too gadgety to be truly effective.