Sugar's mother is struggling to find work and is in danger of losing their home after the death of her father. The one bright spot in Sugar's day is her language arts teacher, Mr. B., who encourages her to write poetry for assignments and tries to keep tabs on her well being. Another bright spot is Shush, a small dog another girl thrusts at Sugar in the park right before Sugar and her mother lose their home. Sugar's mother, Reba, is unable to cope. Her only hope is getting in touch with Sugar's father, a gambler who has not been reliable in the past. It is Sugar who contacts a support agency for a place to live. She manages to get Shush accepted because she is always polite and has a habit of writing thank you notes for everything. When Reba thinks she can get a job in Chicago, she takes Sugar there, but the job falls through and Reba falls apart. Sugar goes into foster care and manages to hold on to Shush and try to get her mother to stop relying on her father so that the two of them can move on.
Fantastic cover. Look carefully at the run in the sleeve of the sweater. And cute dogs make everything better. I love Bauer's work and will definitely buy this. The supportive teacher is a bonus.