A slight but vivid account of life in rural Iowa in the early 1900's, written by a prolific author and her mother. The episodic story takes place during Maudie's eighth and ninth years. Middle of seven children, she is preoccupied with getting noticed. Mostly, her focus is on Aunt Sylvie, whose gentle charm makes Maudie wish she were Sylvie's godchild; she sets out to earn the title by being good, but her efforts are often defeated by her high spirits and quick temper. Meanwhile, the family endures smallpox, buys its first car, and goes to a box social where Aunt Sylvie meets a man whom she ultimately marries, thus permanently defeating Maudie's dream when she goes away without knowing of Maudie's quest. However, Maudie finally discovers her true value to her family and herself when she helps to run the family farm in a crisis. Although not outstanding, the attention to period detail and Maudie's fierce strength of character give the story some merit.