Lucinda, the youngest child of a NYC couple goes to live with one of her teachers while her parents travel to Italy: her mom needs to recuperate from some medical condition and her dad wanted to travel so the parents go away for about 1 year. While they are gone Lucinda meets many inhabitants of the city, a drive of a carriage and his Irish wife, a policeman, a candy shop owner, a grandchild of actresses, a fruit wagon vendor and his family, an exotic far eastern woman, a young couple with a bay daughter, and many others. Her relationship with her Aunt Emily is a constant source of friction. Lucinda is not really well-versed in behaving like a lady. Lucinda's roller skating around the city brings her to many new acquaintances and experiences, and she is not worried about class or status, just enjoys experiencing all the sights with zest and energy. Her growing caring for others comes out and I was surprised to find that in that year's start others thought she was a cold/emotionless child. I especially felt her attachment to others and was really saddened at times when loss occurred. This is a book that brings both all the parts of life - ups and downs to a young girls who really lives.