Carmen Browne is a ten-year-old African-American girl beginning her fifth-grade year. With her family moving to a new city, Carmen is anguished to give up her friends and comfortable home. As her family adapts to a new location, Carmen learns that finding new friends and fitting in is not easy. Part of her doesn't even want to try. Family issues become complicated when Carmen's brother learns he is adopted. Dealing with unpopularity, fitting in, and cultural differences are all things that Carmen deals with in the first book of the Carmen Browne series.