Mama always says a person's character is what really counts but if that's right, how come Ivy always gets whatever she wants and I have to settle for leftovers? Plain, insecure Emma, afraid to befriend Jerry, hiding her love for books and desire to travel, and hesitant about making friends with the kids in tag town' faces a bleak future. But when Miss Freeman, the new English teacher, comes to Grassville, old preconceptions are no longer valid. Viewed with heightened sense of understanding, events take on new meaning. The Gypsies' visit to town, a near-fatal fall down a mountain, a frightening drive to the hospital with an injured driver in the back of the truck and an eye-opening look at abuse and its consequences help Emma make the most difficult decision of her life. She finally comprehends the meaning of the poet's words, Whatever's good or bad or both is surely better than the none; and the warning in Revelation, So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Mr. Bond's threat fills Emma's dreams. Will he keep his promise? And will she ever understand what Miss Freeman was telling her?