This is one of my favorite books! I love the character in it! She did not make herself out to be the victim. Jeanette was the 2nd to oldest child and her parents neglected the children. Most of the time the kids were on their own trying to find food to eat! The dad was a drunk and the mom was too selfish. My favorite part was when she made home made braces because her teeth were too bad.The parents would do things that made your jaw drop. One time they were moving across country and rented a u-haul. All three kids sat in the u-haul and they had to hold their 2 month old baby sister. It was pitch black for about 8 hrs for the kids..they didn't even get to stop for a potty break. But in the end the children moved to New York as soon as they were 18 and led successful lives while their parents ended up homeless. That was the life they chose to live.