Leeva Spayce Thornblossom has spent almost her entire life inside the family house—cleaning up after her parents, solving her father’s accounting problems and surviving almost entirely off a food called Cheezaroni. But one morning her life changes forever: In the local paper, she reads about a new school in town. That’s right—a new school! And what’s more, Leeva should be attending it!
Leeva wants to go to school to learn and meet new people. But her parents want Leeva to have nothing to do with the place. Leeva’s mom, the mayor of Nutsmore, assures Leeva that people are only good for making one famous. Leeva’s father, the treasurer of Nutsmore, adds that people are also good if they make one money.
Leeva doesn’t buy her parents’ explanations. When they leave for work, she decides to leave the house for one of the only times in her life. The girl makes her way through the giant hedge surrounding her yard and stumbles upon a large brick building—the library. At the library, Leeva meets librarian Pauline Flowers and Pauline’s nephew, Harry. Pauline gives Leeva stacks of books to read and Leeva (now an official young scholar) begins to formulate an answer to her question.
Through her studies and newfound friendships, Leeva realizes that people good for far more than her parents told her. They are for sharing, for listening and so much more.
She’s happier than she’s ever been, but Leeva can’t help but notice how all her new friends suffer under her parents’ rule. As the days pass and the problems grow clearer, Leeva knows that it isn’t enough for her to wash her hands of her parents’ bad choices. She must set everything right.