Her new home in Minneapolis is a duplex, with nosy elderly landladies downstairs. A new school, a new town, and a different life - but all Isabelle really wants is the old life back.
It's a universal yearning when something bad has happened - I just want things the way they were before! - and St. Anthony does a lovely job addressing it for kids (Isabelle is in eighth grade, but this book could read younger with no problem.) You like Isabelle right away, and I rooted for her to make new friends and not get stalled in her grief.
And while the book is set in the 1960s, it feels contemporary and not stuck in history: A lack of technology is the only real giveaway, and perhaps that the events of the landlord sisters lives are so far back in time, now.
At 140 pages it's not an intimidating read for kids, and the short chapters make it easy to digest. You like the characters enough to keep reading, and the emotion is so real and relatable.
I really, really liked this one!