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Jasmyn is looking to captaining the seventh-grade basketball team when her mother is called up from the army reserves to go to Saudi Arabia for the opening phase of the 1990 Persian Gulf War. Mead wisely keeps her canvas small, focusing on Jasmyn's adjustment to a newly chaotic life in her small Maine seacoast town. Basketball has to go on the back burner; just as bad, Mom's somewhat hapless boyfriend Jake has moved in to care for Jasmyn's baby brother, Andrew, and it often feels to Jasmyn as if she's doing all of the work. Jasmyn is a realistically prickly heroine as she balances worry about her mom with resentment at being left. The war itself is entirely offstage, conveyed only through Mom's brief letters and phone calls; what matters here is what happens at home, and Mead paints an entirely convincing and involving picture. r.s.