Bernice Blossom Bolton--Bernie--is a nine-and-a-half-year-old force to be reckoned with as she charges head-first into the 21st century. Feisty and fun, liberated and opinionated, she's ready to take on the world. Today's preteen girls will be able to relate to Bernie as she struggles to understand her fast-changing world, deals with changes in her family, comes to terms with the changes in herself.
Only a few short days from turning ten, disaster strikes for Bernie! While babysitting her stepbrother Kirby, she watched helplessly as he fell from a tree and now he's in a deep sleep the doctors call a coma. Bernie tries everything to wake him--from prayers she's not very good at to intimidation, her second nature. Nothing works until Bernie visits Mr. Ralston, the oldest person in the neighborhood. His house is old, smelly, cluttered and kind of creepy. But Mr. Ralston makes wonderful cookies and has a mysterious secret box he opens only after telling a story from his childhood filled with wonder and a little magic... the kind that might wake Kirby from his long sleep.