It's 1926, and the one thing eleven-year-old Lexie Lewis wants more than anything is to leave Portland, Oregon, where she has been staying with her strict grandparents, and rejoin her mother, a carefree singer in San Fransisco's speakeasies. But Mama's new husband doesn't think a little girl should live with parents who work all night and sleep all day.
Meanwhile, Lexie's class has been raising money to ship a doll to the children of Japan in a friendship exchange, and when Lexie learns that the girl who writes the best letter to acccompany the doll will be sent to the farewell ceremony in San Fransisco, she knows she just has to be the winner. But what if a jealous classmate and Lexie's own small lies to her grandmother manage to derail her plans?
Inspired by a project organized by teacher-missionary Sidney Gulick, in which US children sent more than 12,000 Friendship Dolls to Japan in hopes of avoiding a future war, Shirley Parenteau's engaging story has sure appeal for young listeners who enjoy historical fiction, and for doll lovers of all ages.