After Laurie's parents divorce, her mother requires her to write weekly to her father in Missouri; though Laurie chafes under this burden, she writes enough letters in nine months to fill this book. Meanwhile, Laurie goes to camp, enters sixth grade, and longs to be in the talented and gifted program; her mother starts to date again and enjoys the fudge that Dad sends. Though at times Laurie is obviously hard to take, she and her mother have a close, comfortable relationship. The perils of prepubescence are apparent: awful parties where everyone fights, ambivalence over friendships with boys, and spurts of emotional as well as physical growth. Laurie's school is remarkably placid, drug-free, and suburban; this could be the 50's. The reason for the apparently amicable divorce is not given; Dad remains shadowy if generous, while Mom is attractive, Jewish, and witty. Laurie develops --with both humor and smarts--from being a pill to achieving goals. Mild, but sustaining for those who don't have "parents who are still married."