Twelve-year-old Fern believes she's living a noble life--but what if everything she's been told is a lie? This is a huge-hearted story about a girl learning to question everything--and to trust in herself.
Fern's lived at the Ranch, an off-the-grid, sustainable community in upstate New York, since she was six. The work is hard, but Fern admires the Ranch's leader, Dr. Ben. So when Fern's mother sneaks them away in the middle of the night and says Dr. Ben is dangerous, Fern doesn't believe it. She wants desperately to go back, but her mom just keeps driving.
Suddenly thrust into the treacherous, toxic, outside world, Fern thinks only about how to get home again. She has a plan, but it will take time. As that time goes by, though, Fern realizes there are things she will miss from this place--the library, a friend from school, the ocean--and there are things she learned at the Ranch that are just...not true.
Now Fern will have to decide. How much is she willing to give up to return to the Ranch? Should she trust Dr. Ben's vision for her life? Or listen to the growing feeling that she can live by her own rules?