Joy Taylor has always believed home is the house she lived in her entire life. But then her dad lost his job, and home becomes a tiny apartment and a place for tense arguments between Mom and Dad. Hardest of all, Joy's dreams of becoming a great pianist and film score composer have been put on hold. A new neighbor her age lets Joy in on the complex's best-kept secret: the Hideout, a cozy refuge only the kids know about. In this hideaway, Joy starts exchanging messages with another kid in the building. Joy is determined to find out who this mystery writer is, but between trying to raise funds for her music lessons and worrying about her parents' marriage, Joy isn't sure how to keep her own head above water.