As Prosperina, Queen of the Night, Emily invites them all to join her at midnight to welcome the arrival of the circus train. The children will have a part to play as well:
"Ah, yes, this year, I propose you gypsies join me!
After the second whistle and the hiss of the steam,
we five wily ones will watch
horses and monkeys,
and if Fortune smiles -
an elephant shall strut from the cars!
We'll see the gypsies of our clan,
the ones who travel farther and farther
than we Amherst gypsies can."
No one else must know.
This story is based on real events; the author has included real correspondence from Miss Emily to the children. Readers will be caught up in this lively, imaginary, and literary world as they are guided with joy to escapades that will keep them focused on the quiet action and the stories shared. When an accident results in admitting what they have been doing, Miss Emily takes responsibility for the plan that led the children to break rules. There are some repercussions. Miss Emily wants them to take away from their experience one important thing:
Please never grow up, which is 'much better -'
Please never improve - you are perfect now.
(You should know that she referred to the group of children, boys and girls, as 'boys' in her letters and notes to them.)
In back matter, the author includes historical notes about the characters she has included in the telling, an extensive bibliography for further study, and acknowledgements.