There's being a kid. There's being an adult. And then there's that year in between.
Vada's (Anna Chlumsky) only 13-years-old but she's already been through quite a bit: she's practically grown-up without a mother, her best friend suffered a fatal injury and now her father (Dan Aykroyd) has re-married and started a new family. Despite it all, she's blossomed into well-rounded, coltish young lady. When her father and step-mom move the family to Los Angeles, Vada realizes she'll have to make a big adjustment. Searching for her roots to fulfill a scholastic assignment, she begins researching her mother's life, only to make some startling and wonderful discoveries.