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Liberty Aimes has spent all of her ten years captive in her parents' crooked old house on Gooch Street. Her spry father, Mal Aimes, is a crook who sells insurance, while her overweight mother sits at home in front of the TV, demanding that Liberty cook nonstop, everything from fried clams and fried hot dogs to ice cream sundaes. Liberty's only knowledge of the outside world comes from the secret stash of children's books and fairy tales she discovered beneath the floorboards.
One day, Liberty works up the courage to enter her father's forbidden basement laboratory. There she discovers a world of talking animals and magic potions. With the aid of one such potion, Liberty escapes into the world--and learns that she can talk to animals. She decides her destiny is to find the renowned Sullivan School, where she can live and get an education. Along the way, she meets a wacky cast of characters--some become true friends, but others want to kidnap her.
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