As the school year goes on and the threat of Communists grows, as does Sophie's outbursts, Francine grows frightened for her friend, yet also admires her. The reader gets to see what a true friendship in scary times can really be like, with very realistic dialogue, perfect for the setting of the story.
I found the characters compelling and I loved Sophie, though found myself more like Francine. There were always times when I wanted to speak up and ask questions about why things were happening, but just sat back and hoped someone else would do so. Francine Cushman did a great job with this coming of age story.