The days are continuing to grow longer. The "real-timers" are considered freaks. Sylvia, Tom, and Carlotta are left out of the neighborhood block party and their trees are toilet papered. The Kaplan family is on real-time for the sake of their Sabbath and are also shunned. Julia watches the neighbors with the telescope her dad bought her and she becomes interested in Sylvia. She notes that Sylvia seems tired, sad, and lonely. Her mom is becoming increasingly emotional. First, yelling at Julia's dad for opening the peanut butter but then begins crying over everything. Mr. Jensen has left the school and they have a substitute who says she will be there for the rest of the year. Rumors have it that he is now on real-time.
One day, the police pull up at Tom and Carlotta's house. Gabby's mom (who is a lawyer) is standing outside the house with her arms crossed. They bring Tom and Carlotta out handcuffed followed by pots of weed. They are later released on bail awaiting trial.
It is Christmas and Julia's mom seems to cheer up a little. She wants everything to be perfect. She is constantly fixing the tablecloth, she glued the cookie jar together that has been laying on the shelf broken for years, and she wants to use the silver sprinkles they have always used that the supermarket no longer carries. She wants everything to be perfect and is acting as though it will be their last Chrismas. One night as they are making cookies, Julia suggests bringing some to Sylvia. Her mom says that probably wouldn't be a good idea. Julia sneaks some to her anyway. Sylvia opens the door, sleepy-faced. She takes the cookies, thanks Julia, and quickly closes the door.
One clock-time evening Julia is watching Sylvia through the telescope. She sees her decorating a tree. And then she sees a man. The man slips his arm around her waist and Sylvia smiled. They kissed and continued decorating the tree. At first, Julia was happy that Sylvia was enjoying herself. But then she realized that she knew his face all too well and to her horror she realized it was her father.
I personally really liked her father at first. He seemed like a really interesting, laid back person. I am not so sure what I think about him now... maybe we will get his side of the story too.