It is now 1958, and a new family has moved in next door to Mrs. Dowdel: a Methodist minister and his wife and kids. Soon Mrs. Dowdel will work her particular brand of charm - or medicine, depending on who you're asking - on all of them: 10-yearold Bob, who is shy on courage in a town full of bullies; his two fascinating sisters; and even Bob's two parents, who are amazed to discover that the last house in town might also be the most vital.
As Christmas rolls around, the Barnhart family realizes that they've found a true home - and a neighbor who gives gifts that will last a lifetime.
"Irascible, independent, and unorthodox as ever, Grandma Dowdel makes a welcome return...she's entered that rare pantheon of unforgettably great characters." ( Horn Book)