The title question is strictly rhetorical: there's not a soul in the book who doesn't rely on Dunnahoo's gutsy, street-smart heroine. Still active in L.A.'s teenage auxilary police group and no longer chafing over taunts of ""mini-pig,"" fifteen-year-old Espie is now busy boosting the spirits of best friend Denise, hospitalized and temporarily paralyzed from a car accident; helping out her good-hearted foster mother, Mrs. Garcia, who has been slowing down from asthma attacks; and, above all, trying to wean alcoholic Allison, a rich kid from ""the hill,"" away from the bottle. Certainly Espie's come a long way from her runaway days (Who Cares About Espie Sanchez?, 1975) and her naive run-in with a wetback smuggling scheme (This Is Espie Sanchez, 1976), but she hasn't turned into any angel of the barrio. An upfront, no bull realist, Espie's learned to survive by looking out for number one. She's still not above cutting school to meet Rick, a new boyfriend, nor does she have any qualms about using self-pitying, spoiled Allison for the convenience of her car. The plot has none of the TV-cop-show drama of the earlier novels and Dunnahoo merely pays lip service to her other characterizations, but Espie still makes it worthwhile. And when, in a rare moment of reflection, Espie finds herself wishing ""there were more Mrs. Garcias to go around,"" we can't help but add that a few more Espies wouldn't hurt either.