Marcus Lakewood III, best known as Phones, isn’t having a good time these days. His best friend, moved to another part of town, the 6th grade bully broke his beloved headphones, and his parents just told him they’re about to lose their house to a thing called a “foreclosure.” Phones doesn’t know what to do or who to talk to.
He used to be able to talk to his grandfather, but he died. Now he sits in Pop’s favorite chair and hopes his whispers make it to heaven. Or, Marcus tries to perfect the superhero he’s been drawing, but his dad wants him to put down his sketchbook and get better grades in science. “You’re going to be a doctor, Marcus. Dreams don’t pay the mortgage.”
Will the Lakewood family be able to come up with the money they need to save the house? Will the bully ever leave Marcus alone? If only Marcus could talk to Pop, surely, he’d have some ideas.
“Squeak? Squeak?” Marcus looks around the room. Is he still asleep? No. He’s awake and hearing his grandfather using his pet name. “Squeak? Squeak? Pies, Squeak.”
Phones speaks on topics such as foreclosure, bullying, and parental expectation vs. personal passion, while examining the question, “does money buy happiness?” When Pop was alive, he thought he knew the answer; and now that he’s not, he knows he needs to get the message to his loved ones from beyond. Luckily, his grandson found his old headphones.
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