Especially when there aren't many kids age eleven in your neighborhood. Being a friend is even harder. In Pearl's neighborhood Lenore is everyone's friend of choice. She has her hair straightened and curled at a real beauty shop, her own pink phone, and a canopy bed. The most Pearl hopes for is to be included as one of Lenore's followers.
Then outcast Artemesia comes into Pearl's life. Artemesia is everything Pearl dreams of being -- a dancer and an artist. But then Lenore makes it clear she can't stand Artemesia, Pearl does the worst thing possible.