Difficult times have created infighting in the otherwise idyllic neighborhood where 12-year-old Summer Larsen has just moved. At the forefront of the controversy is Summer`s father, who works for the developer. But it`s a sweet, stray dog who ultimately changes Summer`s life and those around her. Shadow, named for always following her, was destined to be Summer`s dog. But for how long? And at what price? Summer is determined to do what she believes is the right thing no matter how difficult, and it`s that strength of character, as well as her big heart, that have a profound impact on her father and the neighbors she befriends: the nerdy boy who is disapproved of by the popular kids, the reclusive woman who lives next door, and the rough-around-the-edges guy who happens to have a gentle soul.