for The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel
The old, converted vegetable shop where Tillie lives is more like a madhouse than a home. Tillie's mother, Beatrice, is bitter and cruel, yet desperate for her daughters' love. Her sister, Ruth, suffers epileptic fits and sneaks cigarettes every chance she gets. In the midst of chaos, Tillie struggles to keep her focus and dreams alive. Tillie -- keeper of rabbits, dreamer of atoms, true believer in life, hope, and the effect of gamma rays on man-in-the-moon marigolds.