When Liat moves into the "cursed house" across the street, Roxanne is both thrilled and scared. She is thrilled to learn that they're the same age and scared that Liat won't like her or think she's cool, or will like her and not be cool enough. She's also worried about the curse. Liat is also from Israel, completely disinterested in changing her name and is utterly fearless. She's a lot like Roxanne's hero, Wonder Woman.
While the novel is set during the 1980's, its pop culture references, to Pac Man, among others, should be fairly easily accessible to twenty-first century readers. It also realistically portrays the experience of a young immigrant and the angst anyone might feel about fitting in, is timeless.