My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Eleven-year-old Lexie has been sent to Portland to live with her grandparents. She is homesick for her mother and dreams of being back in San Francisco with her. Lexie’s Mum, however, is a nightclub singer and has a new husband and her lifestyle has become unsuitable for raising a child.
At school in Portland, Lexie’s teacher has involved the class in a nation-wide program that requires them to design an outfit for a doll to be sent to Japan as part of a shipment of 12 000 dolls being sent as a gift of friendship from American children. Along with designing a dress for the doll, Lexie’s class is given the opportunity to submit a letter entry into a competition. The prize is to accompany the doll to its send off in San Francisco. Lexie sees this as her ticket to her mother and is determined to write the best letter.
This historical novel is a wonderful read. It explores the themes of family, friendship, loyalty and honesty. I highly recommend it to Middle School readers.