Nellie’s dad had planned on having four boys to name after the presidents on Mt. Rushmore. He got George, Nellie, Tom and Teddy. No Abe. It’s the summer of 1974. Nellie’s turned 13. Her best friend Maya has a crush on a boy. President Nixon might get impeached. And her mom’s run off. The money for their family road trip to see Mt. Rushmore is missing and her dad’s crawled into bed and won’t get up. Nellie’s sure the trip out West will fix her family and she’ll do almost anything to come up with the cash. But she begins to wonder why it’s always her, the girl, who’s stuck with the dishes and everything else. And how can a mom just up and leave with no note, no forwarding address, no nothing?
Daphne Kalmar brings to life the social and political upheaval of the 1970s. She reveals the heart of a family on the verge of falling apart and the courage of a young girl who does all she can to bring them back together.