A young teenager deals with her family's disintegration with the help of a teacher who gives her a summer job working in his garden.
Haley's excited about turning 13, but her teenage years start off with a thud when, shortly after her birthday, her mother checks herself into the hospital for severe depression. Her older brother, Otis, is busy with his job selling clothes, and Haley tries to keep her mind off the family problems with her own job, helping a music teacher clean up his backyard garden. As Haley's family life becomes more and more unstable, it's her work and her growing friendship with her employer that sustain her. When Otis gets arrested for selling stolen goods and a social worker takes Haley into a group home, it's her employer she turns to to help her pick up the pieces.
From the Hardcover edition.