When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog's real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs.
Maryland teenager Alice McKinley spends her last semester of high school performing in the school play, working on the student paper, worrying about being away from her boyfriend, who will be studying in Spain, and anticipating her future in college.
During the summer between her junior and senior years of high school, Maryland teenager Alice McKinley volunteers at a local soup kitchen, tries to do "something wild" without getting arrested, and wonders if her trip to Chicago to visit boyfriend Patrick will result in a sleepover.
Along with the usual concerns of senior year in high school, Alice faces some very difficult situations, including vandalism by a group of Neo-Nazis and a friend's confession that a teacher has been taking advantage of her.
After she, her older brother, and their father move from Chicago to Maryland, Alice has trouble fitting into her new third grade class, but with the help of some new friends and her own unique outlook, she survives.
Find a Penny pick it up and all day long you'll have good luck...except, of course, if that Penny is charming and pretty and funny, and the person picking her up just happens to be your boyfriend. Alice McKinley's freshman year is not as "lucky" as she was hoping it would be. But she's is trying to look on the bright side. There are worse things than being single for a semester... for a school year...for the whole summer.... At least Alice can count...
As the end of summer approaches, the Malloy girls decide they will really try to get along with the Hatford boys before moving back to Ohio, but after all the practical jokes and competitions of the previous year, the boys just do not trust the girls.