It's 1953 and eleven-year-old Penny dreams of a summer of butter pecan ice cream, swimming, and baseball. But nothing is that simple for Penny. For starters, she cannot go swimming because her mother is afraid Penny will catch polio at the pool. To make matters worse, her favorite uncle is living in a car. Her Nonny cries every time Penny's father's name is mentioned. And the two sides of her family are not speaking to each other! When it rains, it sure does rain, but Penny is learning that like the song says...even the darkest clouds may just contain some pennies from heaven.
Amen McBee, the youngest of five sisters, gobbles up words the way other children gobble up sweets. She couldn't be more different from her twin sisters Arabella and Annabella---called the Bellas. The mischievous Bellas constantly frighten Amen with stories about Mr. Tominski---the old recluse who lives in the woods nearby and mysteriously tends to a flock of doves. The Bellas insist that Mr.
Natalie's best friend, Zoe, is sure that the novel Natalie's written is good enough to be published. But how can a 12 year old girl publish a book? Natalie's mother is an editor for a big children's publisher, but Natalie doesn't want to ask for any favors.
Life isn't like the movies, and eleven-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple. She's smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it's 1935, and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle's mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn't like kids, Turtle says goodbye without a tear and heads off to Key West, Florida, to stay with relatives she has never met. Florida is like nothing Turtle has ever seen. It's hot and strange, full of ragtag boy cousins, family secrets, and even buried treasure! Before she know