Summer is in the midst of her unluckiest year ever when her parents have to go to Japan and she has to go on harvest with only her Japanese-American grandparents and younger brother. Harvest includes multi-state travel with a work crew to harvest the wheat in huge combines. Summer and her grandmother, Obaachon, were hired to cook all of the meals for their crew, and Jiichan, her grandfather, was a combine driver.
The harvest process is explained very well in this novel, as well as the intense pressure to do the job well and before bad weather hits. When Obaachon’s back seizes up and Jiichan gets sick, it’s up to Summer to keep their family employed.
The very best part of this novel is the oft cantankerous relationship between Summer and Obaachon. Their ongoing nitpicking manages to be both hilarious and endearing at once.