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After his mother dies, Loren Creek, a precocious fourteen year old, flees the foster-care system in Tennessee by moving to North Carolina. With the help of a curmudgeonly mountain man she manages to evade detection by assuming the identity of a boy. She reluctantly becomes the kicker on the school football team, and becomes popular with boys and girls alike, causing some stressful and confusing, even dangerous, situations. Meanwhile, Loren''s foster-care guardian takes her disappearance personally. He won''t give up until he finds her and places her with what he considers a good family. A confrontation is inevitable.
After her mother dies, Loren Creek, a precocious fourteen-year-old, flees the Tennessee foster-care system for North Carolina where, with the help of a curmudgeonly mountain man, she evades detection by pretending to be a boy, even becoming place-kicker on the high school football team.