You wouldn't even know there was a war on, thinks Susan Marcus as she surveys her new neighborhood in Clayton, Missouri. There are no air raid wardens, no blackout curtains. It's so different from her old home in New York City: no tall apartment buildings, no bustling city streets. Susan can barely understand people, their accents are so thick, and of course eveyone in Clayton is a St. Louis Cardinals fan and sworn enemy of Susan's beloved New York Yankees. Worst of all, for the first time in her life, ten-year-old Susan encounters prejudice -- against New Yorkers, Jews, blacks, and the Japanese. She must be circumspect about her friendship with Loretta (the daughter of the black janitor), for Jim Crow laws still exist in 1943 Missouri. Outraged, Susan decides to strike a blow against them. She's not going to break the rules exactly; she's just going to bend them.