As the school year ends, Harvey is sent home early because the teacher, principal, and kids are fed up with his scatterbrained memory. He finds his parents are splitting up and going on separate vacations. Knowing that neither wants him along, Harvey tells each he will be staying with the other. Soon he ends up with Mr. and Mrs. Katz, having met Mr. Katz behind a supermarket where the man regularly salvages discarded produce. Neighbors call the hand-built Katz home the ""crazy house"" and complain to authorities of the salvaged junk that spills out of their garage; but Harvey thrives on the couple's expansive welcome and on Mrs. Katz' cooking and her eccentric mnemonic devices. She leaves a frying pan in the hall to remind her of dentist appointments, leaves letters in the fridge so she'll remember to mail them, and--most helpful to Harvey--shares with him the old list-association memory trick. Once mastered, this last wins him admiration when summer ends, his worried parents track him down and show they both want him, and he returns to school to ace the first-day memory quiz. This triumph is handled lightly enough so that the story doesn't come off as one of those unrealistic problem-solution therapies; and the stay with the comfortably oddball Katzes is a pleasant one.