This is a great read, although there are a few things that you probably want to know before you read it if you are not sure. First, the positive points. Early, Jubie, Summer, and Dash Pearl have a very close knit family and love each other very much. At the beginning of the book there are very positive messages and role models, but are displayed in an interesting and entertaining way. But at the middle of the book, things start getting tough. The dad disappears and the Pearl family moves to a place for homeless people after the father is suspected of being involved In criminal activity and a group of thugs rob their home. This is a depressing part of the book, where they met many homeless people that are very disadvantaged but also meet some kind ones along the way. I recommend this for ages 11-12 and up because of A., the depression and more grown-up parts of the book and B., the enthralling confusion of the book, similar to other books by Blue Balliet, if you have ever read one. In short, this is a very good book but only for mature readers and older kids.