Timothy Legget, 12, was forced to grow up quickly living in Appleton, Kentucky, caring for his younger sister, Lisa. Their parents, Jan and Justin, were impoverished coal miners working in one of the local mines near their home. On October 5, 1901, tragedy struck their family. Timothy and Lisa are sent to Jasper, Virginia to live with their aunt-Martha Satcher. They arrive in Jasper late one night, only to discover that their Aunt Martha is not home. Timothy explores the house and finds it empty of most everything. Timothy considers this to be very strange and out of character for his Aunt. Suddenly, reality overwhelms him he is in a strange town, caring for his younger sister, with neither friends nor relatives, and returning home is not an option. Without relatives, he and Lisa could be mistaken for orphans and placed in an orphanage-where there would be little hope of ever returning home.
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