A thoughtful depiction of the effects of divorce. Sixth-grader Mark Baker is miserable because his parents' breakup means that he must lose the only home he's ever known to change neighborhoods, friends, schools--in short, his entire life. But during the first months of his new existence, after a false start with the school bully, Mark begins slowly to acquire a circle of friends--including Joe Chang, who seems to work so hard at his family restaurant that he never has time for fun. Meanwhile, Mark is working out new relationships with both parents (a worried, tired, often angry mother, and a father who rarely seems to be around). After helping to initiate communication between Joe and his parents on the issue of free time, Mark realizes that he should follow his own advice and make his needs clear to his parents. Though not strongly plotted, this familiar story is made fresh by strong characterizations and Mark's wryly honest narration. A truly felt examination of an increasingly common situation.