Two Kentucky girls, Ivy June Mosley of Thunder Creek and Catherine Combs of Lexington, are participating in their schools’ first-ever seventh-grade student exchange. Taking turns, each girl leaves home for two weeks to live and attend classes with the other, and records her honest feelings about the experience in a journal. For both, it’s a chance to find out if what they’ve been told about each other’s lifestyles and beliefs is true.

Ivy June lives up in the mountains with her grandparents because it’s so crowded down at her parents’ place. The Mosleys use an outhouse, drive rickety old cars, and wear hand-me-downs. Catherine lives with her close-knit family in a large, beautiful house with plenty of space for everyone. She has her own room with two beds and is driven to school every day. As the girls spend time in each other’s neck of the woods, they find out that they’ve both been keeping secrets. And when, without warning, Ivy June and Catherine both face the terror and helplessness of not knowing what’s happening to their loved ones, they discover that they may be more alike than different.