Burl Crow hasn't had many breaks in his young life. His father is a manipulative lout with a dangerous temper; his mother, worn down by years of abuse, now resorts to her little helpers to get her through the days. Then he meets Nathaniel Orlando Gow, the Maestro, and in just one day, this eccentric genius changes Burl's life forever.
The Boy in the Burning House
Two years after his father mysteriously disappeared, Jim Hawkins is coping -- barely. Underneath he's frozen in uncertainty and grief. Then Ruth Rose crashes into his life. A sixteen-year-old misfit whose manic moods have to be managed by drugs, she tells Jim that her stepfather is a murderer. Every instinct tells Jim to walk away, to get back to the slow process of dealing with his own grief. Yet something about her fierce conviction will not let him rest. Ruth Rose lights a fire in Jim -- a burning need to uncover the truth, no matter how painful that truth may be.
A Thief in the House of Memory
It has been six years since sixteen-year-old Dec's free-spirited mother, Lindy, disappeared. Dec feels so trapped in the present that he has avoided examining his past. But when an intruder dies in the museum-like family home, the man's death sends forth tremors that reawaken forgotten memories. Suddenly Dec is flooded with visions of his mother so tangible it's hard to believe they're not real.