Thirteen-year-old Dallas and his twin sister Florida are troubled orphans who have been foisted off, unsuccessfully, on a string of foster families and are now living in the Boxton Creek Home owned by Mr. and Mrs. Trepid. Florida has a mean mouth and has learned to trust no one. They've been beaten and locked in enough cellars to last a lifetime. Then the day comes when they are borrowed by Tiller and Sairy, an older couple who live in Ruby Holler and who want a last big adventure in their lives.
Imagine a family in which children can inadvertently chop down a tree out front only to be congratulated on improving the view. Dallas and Florida find themselves in just such a world and once they make themselves accept the wonder of it all, they do not want to lose this very special set of foster parents.
On a trip into town the children accidentally let slip to Mr. Trepid that Tiller and Sairy keep "understone money" on their property. Will this greedy man steal the money? Will the children ever get to go on their adventures?
A tale of love and acceptance. Divine. This book won the 2002 Carnegie Medal.