It's the summer of 1941, and all ten-year-old Nilda wants to do is enjoy the cool water with her friends. But the policemen's curses end their fun, and their animosity is played out repeatedly in Nilda's life. She is constantly treated with contempt by adults in positions of authority: teachers, nurses and social workers. At home she is surrounded by a large and loving family that supports her artistic abilities as they experience financial hardship, the onset of World War II and the death of loved ones. Named an "Outstanding Book of the Year" by The New York Times and one of the "Best Books of the Year" by the American Library Association in 1973 when it was first published, Nicholasa Mohr's classic novel about life as an immigrant in New York City offers a poignant look at one young girl's experiences. Issues of race, religion and machismo are realistically depicted in this groundbreaking novel that was one of the first by a Latina author to be hailed by the mainstream media.