A middle-grade novel about two maybe-orphans and their unlikely friendship with a cranky old neighbor. At first Curtis isn't that worried when his mother doesn't come home from her all-night job at the local gas station. She'll be back, he's ten out of ten positive. Besides, Curtis is used to looking after himself and his five-year-old brother, Artie. But when the landlord starts pressuring them for the rent and the authorities start to investigate, it's more than a 12-year-old can handle. Just in time, Mrs. Burt, the cranky, lonely old lady who lives across the street, offers to take Curtis and Artie to her lakeside cabin for the summer. As summer sails by and the weather grows colder, Mrs. Burt seems to be preparing to spend the winter at the cabin, and Curtis starts to worry. Have they really all just absconded to the lake for a summer holiday? Or have the two boys been kidnapped?