The premise: When her father takes his own life after financial ruin brought on by the Great Depression, Frances is left with nothing. The servants who raised her were her family, and now they're gone too. She cashes in a train ticket to her aunt's house, transforms herself into a boy named Frankie, and rides the rails with others who have "nowhere to call home."
What keeps readers reading: Adventure. And the reality of that adventure. Frances (Frankie) meets another hobo named Stewpot; he becomes her big brother and protector. Stewpot teaches Frankie about surviving life on the move and making the most with what you have. But when Stewpot gets very, very sick, Frances realizes riding the rails isn't the adventure she thought it would be.
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