Bud Caldwell is a ten year old boy whose mother has died four years ago. Bud is living with a foster family, which are not very nice, and he wants to find his father. He sets out on his own in search of family.
Bud thinks his father is a jazz musician because his mother kept a picture of this man all the time. Bud wants to have a real family and not have to live with his foster family anymore. When he sets out on his own, he realizes that life is hard now thanks to the Great Depression. It is 1936 and he finds it a lonesome journey that he is on. He meets a man named Lefty Lewis and they set out to find Bud's father. Lefty drops Bud off at a log cabin full of musicians. Bud soon finds the man who is father, but is not exactly what he had in mind. He is not the warm loving man that he imagined. In the end though, Bud finds the family he has been longing for.
This story is a heartwarming story of how we all want to belong and matter to someone. Bud is such a young boy, but really mature because of what he has been through. He searches for that special place to call home and finds it, just not in the place he thought he would.