A story about empathy and charity
Nine-year-old Meggie hates Old Sam, the berry-picking man. He smells bad, he talks to himself, and, worst of all, he likes Meggie. She wishes her mother, a photographer, didn't feel responsible for Old Sam, and especially that Mama didn't involve Meggie in her charitable activities. Mama doesn't bother Meggie's sisters. Maybe it's because they're older. Meggie figures being the baby in the family must also be why she can't have what she wants most, a camera of her own. As Christmas approaches, she longs for one, and when she finally opens her heart to Old Sam, Meggie earns her camera.
Illustrated with poignant watercolor paintings, this is an unusual and thought-provoking story about a girl who discovers more than one common bond with her mother, and who wonders whether she is cursed or blessed.