In this offbeat tale by a Grammy-winning storyteller, a young boy's hopes and an unusual bicycle bring about magical results.
Life is an adventure for ten-year-old Darius Frobisher. His eccentric father Rudy sells insurance four days a week. The other three days he goes on exotic journeys. Then there is Darius's scatterbrained, much-loved babysitter Miss Hastings, who throws water balloons with him and makes delicious burned toast.
But when his father flies off in a hot air balloon and doesn't come back, Darius's happy, carefree life suddenly comes to an end. He is torn away from Miss Hastings and sent to live with his notoriously nasty Aunt Ida, where he has to sleep alone in a cold, damp basement. Most of his waking time is spent trying to dodge the teenage boy next door, who is home from military school and hungry to do horrible things to someone younger than himself.
Darius sees a ray of hope when he finds a rusty old bicycle in the basement and begins to repair it in secret. Could this be the first step toward a reunion with Miss Hastings? Then one day he is startled to see an old man with long flowing hair riding a bicycle across the sky! That gives Darius a strange and wonderful idea. Now he knows what he has to do to get away from his miserable life.
Bill Harley's offbeat, broadly drawn story features a cast of curious and unconventional characters that will easily capture the attention—and imagination—of young readers.