Dottie is full of questions, and she doesn’t mind asking whoever can help find the answers. When her recently-widowed grandpa shows up, he has a coffee can he takes everywhere and treats as if it were his late wife, Ima. Dottie doesn’t mind giving up her room to Grandpa for a while, but it looks like he will stay and stay. Dottie decides since Ima always wanted a treehouse, Dottie will build one. Her best friend Sam helps, and they get help from Miles who had been something of a bully. The treehouse project brings the three together as they learn about friendship and trust each other. When Grandpa gets involved in the project, things get pretty tense.
Author Molly B. Burnham has written a compelling story about both kids and adults dealing with loss and grief as well as learning about trust and friendship. There is a lot going on in this story, but it is deftly handled by Burnham. The situations and dialogue are believable, and the characters are well-rounded and complex, although the kids seem a little younger than the ten-year-olds they are supposed to be. Younger middle-graders will really like this book.