Bud, a nine year old, was taken from a children's home to go live with his new family, the Amoses. Todd, the child, was the one that Bud had the most problems with because he was very bratty-ish. Todd's mom and dad locked him in the shed for "misbehavior." He escaped with injuries and went to get back at the Amoses and left.
He went to the library to get himself on a train heading west. He finds a cardboard jungle/town. There, he meets his crush, Deza Malone. They got up early to catch the next train. Cops stopped most of the people, including Bud, but Bugs did.
Bud goes back to the library to find how far away is Grand Rapids. He knows it will take him 24 hours. Everytime he heard a car, then he'd hide bushes. He was found by a dude named Lefty Lewis, who noticed him, took him to find his home. He is taken to Grand Rapids, where he believes his dad is here.
Bud looks among the band while trying to match the the father. A dude in the middle looked like he was. Bud said, "You're my daddy!" while pointing at the man. The band froze. After a bit, they were going to the Sweet Pea (a restaurant that looks like a house.
Herman is finding a hard time to talk with his grandson, and to get along. Over time, it gets harder and harder. One day, Bud was being accused, by Herman, of stealing his precious rocks. Bud explains that he has identical ones, but Herman doesn't listen.
Bud and Herman eventually find out how Herman is actually Bud's grandfather. This also means that Herman found out his mother was dead. Bud put together the puzzle pieces and found that he was sleeping in the ¨guest¨. He was really sleeping where his mother used to be. He was finally home.