Ten-year-old Lily Sinclair is a bored latchkey kid, an ardent fan of decaf coffee, shoes, and anything to do with lizards. (She has a pet gecko, Weemis.) When her elderly neighbor, Mrs. Hiller, introduces her to the owner of the nearby Pet Palace and his adult son Nate, who has Down’s syndrome, Lily finds herself with an unofficial after-school job. She forges a tentative friendship with Nate, but their bond is threatened by a dark secret that will change everything. Boasting a fresh, original voice, Willowood is a touching testament to the importance of friendship.