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This book is about a girl name Ellen Foster who is ten years old. Her mother committed suicide by over dosing on her medication. When Ellen tried to go look for help for her mother her father stopped her. He told them that if she looked for helped he would kill them both. After her mother died she was left under her fathers custody. Her father was a drunk. He would physically and mentally abuse her. Ellen was forced to pay bills, go grocery shopping, cook for herself, and do everything else for herself. Ellen couldn't take it any more so she ran away her friends house. Starletta and her parents lived in a small cabin with one small bathroom. One day at school a teacher found a bruise on Ellen's arm. She sends Ellen to live with Julia the school's art teacher. Julia had a husband named Roy. They were both hippies. Julia and Roy cared a lot about Ellen. After Ellen turned 11 years old she was forced to go live with her grandmother. Ellen didn't want to leave Julia and Roy but her grandmother had won custody. Her grandmother was a cruel old lady. Ellen spends the summer with her grandmother. Living with her makes her very unhappy. Since her grandmother owns farmland she forces Ellen to work on the field with her black servants. Ellen meets a black woman named Mavis. Mavis and her become good friends. Mavis would talk about how she knew Ellen's mother and how much Ellen resembled her mother. Her grandmother didn't think the same. She thought that Ellen resembled her father. She also hated that man. Her grandmother would often compare her with her father. Her grandmother would torture her because she wanted revenge from her father. Her grandmother also blames her for the death of her mother. While Ellen was staying with her grandmother her father died. When her father died she didn't feel sad because she had always fantasized about killing her father. Ellen just felt a distant sadness. Ellen cried just a little bit. Her grandmother was furious because Ellen showed some emotions. She told her to never cry again. After that Ellen becomes scarred for a long time. One day her uncle Rudolph bought the flag that had been on Ellen's father's casket. Her grandmother turns him away. Later that day she burned the flag. Ellen's grandmother becomes really sick. Ellen is determine to look and care after her. She doesn't want to be blamed for another death. Eventually her grandmother died. She wants to trick God into taking her grandmother to heave so she covers her body with fake flowers. After her grandmother died she was sent to live with her aunt Nadine and her cousin Dora. Nadine and Dora think that they are much better than Ellen. They ignore her because they think that she is "cheap". For Christmas Ellen wants to give them wonderful presents but she can't afford buying presents. So she decides to paint them a picture of two cats. When her aunt asks her what she wants for Christmas she just asks for a package of art paper. She secretly hopes that her aunt and cousin will give her other few surprises. She also hopes that her aunt



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