Margaret Simon is your average eleven year old away at summer camp, when her parents decide to move from exciting Manhattan to sleepy Farbrook, New Jersey. So not only is Margaret dealing with the crucial transition from eleven to twelve years old, but she's got a whole new culture to figure out too. Rough.
Margaret really realizes she's in a different world when people are super concerned with what religion she is. This is a bit of a sore spot with Margaret since, truth be told, she doesn't have a religion. See Margaret is the product of a Christian mom and a Jewish dad who eloped to be together—and now Margaret's stuck in the suburbs with no clue about whether she should join the JCC or the YMCA.
Good thing she's got her girls. The Four Pre-Teen Sensations, that is. Nancy Wheeler, Gretchen Potter, and Janie Loomis form a tight knit group to talk about boys, school, puberty, and all the other important stuff that comes up when you're on the brink of becoming a teenager.
But Margaret doesn't just have her best buds, Shmoopsters. Nope—she also has God. That's right, she may not have a formal religion, but that doesn't get in the way of this girl's regular chats with big guy in the sky.
So Margaret makes her way through sixth grade the best she can. She tries out a bunch of different religions to see if one fits. She meets her long-lost grandparents. She spends a lot of time worrying about when she'll get her period. She gets a crush on an older boy. She goes to her first supper party.
Through it all, she comes back to her touchstones: the Four PTSs, but more importantly, God.