The prolific creator of the ""Nutty"" series takes on a more serious subject--in this portrait of an 11-year-old orphan who tries to escape the dead-end of foster care. David is discovered sleeping in the hallway of a small Seattle hotel by Paul, a reformed alcoholic who has come there to work and maintain his sobriety. Moved by David's helplessness, Paul hides him in a vacant room instead of turning him in--despite David's stubborn reluctance to be helped or to tell anyone about himself. But soon a small group of hotel employees forms a surrogate family around David, who begins to blossom. When David's presence is discovered by a less sympathetic employee, however, and it looks as if he must see a social worker, David runs away toward California--his original plan. Only when he sees how hopeless this is does he return to Paul and finally tell his story of repeated rejection in the foster-care system. Their trip to the social worker brings home to Paul the seriousness of David's plight, and a promising, if temporary, solution is found--one that benefits both. Slow-moving and overlong, but the lovingly drawn characters and strong central relationship make for a moving and memorable story.