World War II is coming in Europe. At least that's what Frankie Baum heard on the radio. But from her small town in Maryland, in the wilting summer heat of 1939, the war is a world away. Besides, there are too many other things to think about: first that Frankie's father up and bought a restaurant without telling anyone, and now she has to help in the kitchen, peeling potatoes and washing dishes, when she'd rather be racing to Wexler's Five and Dime on her skates. Plus her favorite sister, Joanie Baloney, is away for the summer and hasn't been answering any of Frankie's letters.