Arianna "Ari" Hazard and her brother Gage lost their parents and have been living with their mother's best friend, Janna. Gage and Janna don't see eye to eye on most issues so Gage decides he and Ari can survive without her. He can get a job and find an apartment and the two of them can manage life on their own.
Finding a job isn't as easy as Gage anticipated which leaves the two siblings couch-surfing from one friend's apartment to another or attempting to score open beds the local homeless shelter. All the while, fifth grade Ari tries to keep up with her school work and impress her teachers enough to earn a coveted spot at Carter for her middle school years.
Her love for Gage keeps up Ari's faith that everything will work out for the them, but after a rough night at the shelter when a couple of older girls tease her and ruin her precious paper things, and a night spent in Gage's girl friend's car, Ari isn't sure her brother's plan is the best plan for her. Can she make the decision to go in a different direction or will she be willing to sacrifice her own security to continue following Gage?
Jennifer Richard Jacobson is also the author of SMALL AS AN ELEPHANT, another emotional, must-read story.