Ms. Hale delivers a richly told narrative exploring small town life, personal hopes and dreams, and tackles the question "how do we figure out where we belong?" Miri and the other girls are believable characters that we can see ourselves and those we know in.
The best part of this book is the way Ms. Hale allows Miri to solve her problems. When violence occurs it is often meet by Miri intellectually. The conflicts are resolved through understanding the other and finding common ground. Even in the one instance where violence became necessary, it was only after other options failed. Ms. Hale's emphasis on interpersonal relationships and connecting with others made this book more than just another fantasy or coming of age story; she has created valuable literature.