Emmie of Indianapolis
In 1963, a teenage girl moves with her mother and sisters from the suburbs to the downtown of a Midwestern city when her parents divorce. Emmie, a naïve, curious and intelligent girl, wants the security of her suburban life but has always dreamed of adventure in faraway places. She must take risks, meet new people and become independent. The change is difficult for all because of her mother's alcoholism and lack of a steady income. When Emmie's mother takes a job, she cares for her sisters at night. Emmie is welcomed into the neighborhood. She meets good people from different cultures who give her support. Emmie's life becomes a pattern of good and bad experiences. Her newfound strength allows her to confront evil, thus awakening spiritual and mental determination. But when her mother's drinking worsens, and the family's income goes down, Emmie struggles with weakness and doubt. The responsibility of taking care of her sisters, in addition to attending school and trying to maintain normal relationships are stressful to Emmie, but she never gives up. Some of the ways she copes are by satisfying her natural curiosity and love of people, thus she is rewarded with good friends and unique experiences. Even though Emmie's daydreaming is a concern and could potentially lead to shutting out reality or withdrawing from life, she is able to compensate by participating in art, music and reading. Regular visits by their father allow Emmie and her sisters to maintain a small grasp on their previous life. Emmie becomes resilient and courageous from the battles she fights in her new home.