In a series of short, poetic passages, Appelt tells the story of her childhood, growing up in Houston with a father who went to Arabia to escape his family, returning only to divorce her mother and marry another woman.
This really is not a YA book, but rather a book for adults about looking back on a childhood. The passages are all quite bittersweet, but it is not a tough task to make a brief segment come off that way. And it doesn't really create a story per se, just a collection of ideas. Nice writing, but not really storytelling either.