It’s been two months since Travis’s family moved from their shabby old house to a development so new that it seems totally unreal. There’s one place, though, where Travis can still connect with his old life: the Salinas library. Travis and his family used to go there together every Saturday, but now he bikes to it alone, re-reading his favorite books: the works of John Steinbeck. Suddenly Travis is seeing Steinbeck’s characters come to life. There’s the homeless man in the alley behind the library, the boy who writes by night in an attic bedroom. Travis has met them before—as a reader. But how can they be here now? And why?