Twelve-year-old Jane Peeler is about to embark on a summer ritual: the family car trip. Along with her two younger brothers, Bill and Bernie, Jane will endure traffic jams, singalongs, and fights over who gets the window on a two-day car trip to New England. With help from her Walkman, it may not be too bad, even if her chain-smoking, grumpy grandmother is coming along. But during a stop at a gas station, the kids meet Marty – a kind, penniless old man with a problem. How will he get to his brother's funeral in Schenectady the next day? Jane would like to help him out – but how? Bringing a friend along on holiday is one thing, but a total stranger? Readers will delight in the hilarious detours the Peelers must make to get their newest passenger, and themselves, to their destination on time.