Oh Lord what fun! Lois Lowry has turned her talents loose on the noble books of yore: books of the ilk of Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, Mary Poppins, Pollyanna, The Secret Garden, and James and the Giant Peach. Meet the Willoughby family - the children, Tim, A, B and Jane. Don't ask about A and B. You'll just have to read it to find out! Well, the traditional cast of characters assembles, and then they proceed to run amok. The parents decide to escape from the children by hiring a nanny on 15-minutes' notice, selling the house, and disappearing from view on a trip to some exotic destinations (actually manufactured by the children themselves). The children meanwhile have decided to get rid of their parents. Imagine the scene when prospective buyers come to see the house and find the children posing as lamps and coat-racks, and the nanny stripped to the buff (draped with a sheet) and dusted in powder to pose as Aphrodite. Lois Lowry's sense of fun and sense of humor have been let loose, and her knowledge and mastery of the craft of children's fiction reveal themselves in this masterful tale. There's much more, but I won't spoil it for you.