Thirteen-year-old Catherine Cabot Hall put ink to the first unblemished page of her diary on October 17, 1830, the day after her father returned from Boston with the diary tucked conspicuously under his arm. Catherine's mother had died of fever four years before, and now Catherine performed the duties of housewife and mother, living contentedly with her father and younger sister, Matty, on their New Hampshire farm. In spite of the daily hardships, Catherine had much to be thankful for, especially for Cassie, her dearest friend.
Eleven-year-old Rosey Sachs is worried about her school writing assignment. How can she write anything interesting about her ordinary life in Brooklyn? A poem might have made her neighborhood sound a little more exciting, but to Rosey's dismay, she quickly discovers that Brooklyn doesn't rhyme with anything.