Alexis, 13, fears that her parents are heading for a divorce because of her mother's insistence on moving the family from their Chicago apartment to a suburban house she inherited, and her father's resolve to stay put. There's more trouble, too: A mysterious young man, Paul, reveals to Alexis that he is her half-brother; he tells her an incredible tale about his mother and Alexis's father. If she tells her parents what she's learned, Alexis is almost certain they'll break up, but gambles on bringing Paul's story out into the open. To her surprise, the revelation brings the family back together and brings about a new spirit of compromise. The plot is fairly obvious--Pevsner (Jon, Flora, and the Odd-Eyed Cat, 1994, etc.) provides a few too many clues as to Paul's identity--but it's fleshed out with some intriguing secondary characters: best friend, Suzy; her zany, loving Chinese grandmother; and Tyler, Alexis's younger brother, funny and endearing even at his most obnoxious. An uplifting family story.