Twelve-year-old Casey is waiting for the day that Barney, her father, hits it big — 'cause when that horse comes in, he tells her, it's the penthouse suite.' But then he ends up in the hospital, and Casey is sent to Chinatown to live with her grandmother, Paw-Paw. Now the waiting seems longer than ever.
Casey feels lost in Chinatown. She's not prepared for the Chinese school, the noisy crowds, missing her father. But Paw-Paw tells her about the mother Casey never knew, and about her family's owl charm and her true Chinese name. And Casey at last begins to understand that this — Paw-Paw's Chinatown home, her parents' home — is her home, too.