This is an endearing story about discovering who you are inside. Verbie finds out in fifth grade that not only was she adopted, but that she was also a victim of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which explains her small size, glasses, and learning difficulties. Suddenly, she questions her status with her adoptive parents and worries that the she has the bad character of her biological father, who is in prison for killing another man. She and Pooch form a special friendship, but a secret adventure of theirs puts Pooch's life in jeopardy. After the near tragedy, Verbie is able to finally see what the truth about who she is inside and repair her relationship with her adoptive mother, to whom she has said hateful things in anger. Young readers will appreciate Verbie's struggles with mysterious emotions, being embarrassed by parents, and worries about her true nature. Heads-up for sensitive animal-lovers -- there is a baby bird death, and a vague reference to an injury to a baby bunny.