Hold on to your hats as this book wastes no time in sweeping the reader into a fast paced, imaginative tale filled with many memorable, and at times odd, characters.
The reader is introduced to Sydney and her brother Turk as they decide to take a trip. This isn't just any trip. Sydney who is twelve years old, and her nine year brother feel a little troubled in life after a tragic event. They think back to happier times, in a farm with Uncle Frank and Aunt Lily, and they desperately want to feel that safety and warmth again.
They hop a freight train heading West which probably wasn't a great idea when they look back on it. Some of their next choices are far more wild though. On discovering that the farm is gone, along with their aunt and uncle, they don't know what to do. They vowed to each other to not go back home but what can they do when all they are left with is a new subdivision: The Royal Woods. They don't know anyone and don't even know where to begin looking for Uncle Frank and Aunt Lily. That doesn't stop the feisty and determined Sydney. On their adventure they meet a crazy old man who has a home made from junk, a gas bar attendant who pops up again in so many different places that he seems to work everywhere in town and the local bullies who become instant enemies.
This book is a fantastic and magical read. The characters are so vivid and real. The situations are oftentimes funny but equally as often contain a lesson or two on safety, tolerance, honesty, trust and more. Yet another Young Adult book that older adults are going to like too. A book that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you read, never knowing what will happen next. I just loved it.