After Craig’s mom dies, his dad becomes abusive. Craig reacts by vandalizing others’ property and becomes an outcast in the community. Finally he runs away. Though he tries to cut down a tree belonging to his neighbors, the Arks, they open their hearts to him and take him into their home. Craig’s dad also runs away, and his disappearance is a mystery. Nelson Ark’s dog, Siegfried, sort of adopts Craig, seeming to sense that Craig needs a friend and someone (dog) to love. The whole community, including the group, Kids for a Better Tomorrow (K’BeTs), join together to present a Winter Carnival to raise money for the tree’s care. One of the K’BeTs, a cute girl, Carson, befriends Craig, realizing he is remorseful. In attempting to “mend” the tree, Craig mends his own life.