Commended for the 2011 Best Books for Kids and Teens
Living in grim Depression-era Toronto with her actress mother, Frannie, Ivy Chalmers has never met her father. In 1931, Frannie sends twelve-year-old Ivy to stay with her paternal grandmother in Larkin, Ontario, while she seeks stardom in New York City. When Ivy's father, Alva, arrives unexpectedly in Larkin, he turns out not to be the Prince Charming she imagined, but an illiterate peddler. Rescuing Ivy from her uncompromising grandmother, Alva takes her with him for the summer, wandering the countryside by horse-drawn caravan, selling shoes.
Back in Larkin at summer's end, Ivy meets teenager Charlie Bayliss, orphaned as an infant and raised by his aunt on a farm outside town. Ivy has a flair for writing and boundless imagination, while Charlie loves baseball and loathes farming. Unknown to both of them, though, is a secret connection they share. When the final pieces of the puzzle of their lives fall into place, nothing will ever be the same.