11 year old Arlo lives with his grandfather, Albert Sabatini, in Marshboro. Everything has been going fine the past few years, but lately his grandfather has been getting older, and the effects are starting to show. This includes Arlo’s grandfather losing his memory. Arlo has been taking care of his grandfather, instead of the other way around.
When his grandfather has a stroke and Arlo is sent to an orphanage, he makes an elaborate escape plan. Arlo hops on a train and heads to the town where his only other living relative is, a grandmother named Ida Jones who he’s never even met. Arlo’s grandmother is shocked when he arrives at her house. She decides to let Arlo live with her. Arlo meets a lot of new friends while he is living at his grandmother’s. Some of these friends include a smart and unique girl named Maywood, and Matthew, who went to high school with Arlo’s dad. Arlo becomes really close to these people, almost like family.
Then when a mystery man appears and tries to buy Ida’s house even though he’s never seen it, things start to change. Arlo and Maywood, and a few other friends make a plan to save the house. Will it work? Or will it backfire? Read the book to find out!
I really liked this book. The characters were well described and I felt like I was walking right beside Arlo throughout the whole book. One thing that I wish the book had was a suspenseful plot throughout it. I felt like the book’s plot was uneventful. Once in a while there would be a problem, but it would be solved within one page. There wasn’t alot of excitement in the book except the first and last couple of chapters, however I did like the story line. I think this book is targeted for the age group of around third to fifth graders.