Y York's Afternoon of the Elves is a mysterious, fanciful, and poignantly sweet reminder that every child should be treasured. Sara Kate is weird. But she is Hillary's backyard neighbor, and she really needs to tell Hillary something. Hillary agrees to talk with her privately, just to make her go away. She isn't prepared for Sara Kate's big news, though. Sara Kate has elves living in her backyard. There it is, a tidy little elf village! Even after her other friends make fun of her for believing in elves, Hillary still returns to help keep the village in order. It is on one such afternoon that Hillary gets a glimpse of Sara Kate's real life, and all the responsibilities she has. Hillary realizes how lucky she is, not having to worry about things like Sara Kate has to. After Sara Kate misses a few days of school, Hillary becomes worried and goes to check on her. This is the first time she's been inside the Connelly home, and the first time she sees Sara Kate with her sick mother. Sara Kate throws Hillary out, after exacting a promise of silence; Hillary can't even tell her parents what's going on. With the weight of this secret on her young shoulders, Hillary finally really gets it - Sara Kate has to take care of herself and her mother, all alone. Through all of this, these two brave, young girls learn that every child needs an adult to look after them, and they all deserve the comfort and safety of home.