It’s summer in the Negev, and Raizel Cohen can’t stop feeling miserable. The only food her parents can afford is Mom’s onion soup, they have no money to fix the stopped-up drain in the kitchen, the dreaded Three Weeks are coming, and all the neighbors are depressed. No matter how hard she tries to help or get a job, Raizel only manages to make things worse.
Now her scientist father can’t continue his experiments, since Raizel accidentally burned down the basement laboratory. On top of it all, her mother is arrested and hijacked to Vietnam in a plot to steal her invention, the fabulous Mull Over Glasses.
When Raizel’s parents leave home to sort out their problems, her older and happier cousin Odelia Levi stays to keep an eye on her. Together the girls plot out a way to make the whole neighborhood happy, inviting poor widows and orphans to their house the day before Tisha b’Av—not only for a meal, but also for a grand performance ofThe Universe Song, featuring every animal they can find, and Raizel’s bad mood is about to destroy that too.