The year is 1982. Reagan is President, people are suffering behind the Iron Curtain, and in the dusty little town of Kerrville, Kan., sad-eyed Evelyn Bucknow, 10, tries to make sense of it all. Bright, underfed, just this side of pretty, and living with a mom who's dating her married boss, Evelyn stands on the cusp of realizing that there's a world beyond the Kwikshop across the highway. But what a joy to root for this brave, terrified, far-from-perfect narrator as she discovers, over seven years, that her newfound knowledge can be both a blessing and a burden. Everything is a winning first novel that perfectly captures the pain of adolescence and dysfunction, and delivers it with a wry grin.