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Fifteen-year-old Dorrit feels that she has somehow gotten on the wrong side of the universe. The school has diagnosed her as dyslexic, but her mother and teachers and principal have labeled her as mentally slow, although she is not. Frustrated by her mother's and school's lack of understanding, Dorrit decides to take the direction of her education into her own hands, and is aided by her brothers. With them, she defines her own skills, talents and goals. She manages to secretly change her slate of assigned special classes to a regular high school schedule with subjects that she feels will challenge and educate her. She believes that her mother will not notice the change until it is too late, and that the school is too mired in paper work to pick it up. Since the death of her baby sister, from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Dorrit's mother has withdrawn from family life and has busied herself with committee meetings and action groups and pushing her oldest son to become the doctor who will solve the riddle of SIDS. She is operating in her own skewed version of reality and on the periphery of a mother's role. As Dorrit and her brothers confide in one another and build a closeness, Dorrit's lonely secret is revealed ... she was the one who found their little sister dead in her crib and has lived with this memory since, all bottled up within her, in deference to her mother's grief. Dorrit exhibits a natural knowledge/sense of the working of all mechanical things and she has a wonderful helping of common sense. She excels in music, and is tops in chorus. Algebra is done in her head, and the computer turns impossible cursive writing into a workable printout for her. Both of Dorrit's brothersunderstand the problems of dyslexia and appreciate her breadth of abilities. They plan and work with her to overcome the problems by using her strengths. As Dorrit achieves success in school and continues to build a relationship with her brothers and their friends, she finds herself central to restoring her family's old pattern of love and support. She is key to her parents accepting her brother's decision to recast the direction of his life in his own terms, not his mothers'. This is a novel dealing with life's patterns, some changeable.