Saddled with an unfortunately long name by her eccentric mom, Carolina Agnes London Indiana Florence Ohio Renee Naomi Ida Alabama Lavender just goes by Cal to keep things simple. Cal Lavender is perfectly happy living her anonymous life, even if she does have to play mother to her own mother a whole lot more than an eleven-year-old should. But when Cal's mom has one of her unfortunate episodes in the middle of the public library, she is whisked off by the authorities and Cal is escorted to a seat in the back of a police car. On just a short, temporary detour from what I call life, Cal finds herself in a group home with four other girls, watched over by a strange old woman everyone refers to as the Knitting Lady. At first Cal can think of nothing but how to get out of this nuthouse. She knows she doesn't belong there. But it turns out that all the girls, and even the Knitting Lady, may have a lot more in common than they could have imagined.