Chapter 2 Summary

Mrs. Olinski notices that Nadia Diamondstein barely speaks during the first weeks of the new academic year at Epiphany Middle School. The pretty, red-haired student is a watcher, "cautious about showing [her]self." Finally, one day in mid-October, Nadia comes into the classroom and gifts her teacher with a radiant smile. Nadia repeats this greeting "every morning thereafter." Mrs. Olinski recognizes that Nadia Diamondstein is "a star."

Nadia Tells of Turtle Love

During the summer before her sixth-grade year, Nadia's parents go through a divorce, and Nadia must move with her mother from Florida to upstate New York. As a part of the divorce settlement, Nadia is required to spend a month of her summer vacation with her father back in their old neighborhood. As she has been given no say about any of these arrangements, the young girl is understandably bitter when she arrives at her father's apartment with her dog, Ginger. Nadia's father, Allan Diamondstein, is an extremely nervous individual who tends to "hover," making the entire situation singularly uncomfortable.

Nadia's Grandpa, Izzy Diamondstein, who lives nearby in Florida's Century Village, has just gotten married to a woman named Margaret Draper. Nadia has received a "full report" about the wedding from Noah Gershom, whose father, Dr. Gershom, is Nadia's mother's employer in New York. During Nadia's stay, Grandpa Izzy calls every day after her father leaves for work. Her grandfather invites her to visit Century Village, but Nadia declines. Finally, after a very unsatisfactory attempt to connect with her old friends in the neighborhood, Nadia agrees to visit her grandpa, whose new wife's grandson, Ethan Potter, has also arrived to stay for a while.

The beaches of Florida are inhabited by sea turtles. "Turtle patrols" guard the area from May through October to make sure that the turtles' nests are protected from danger. Margaret Draper Diamondstein is an avid environmentalist, and...

(The entire section is 816 words.)