Eleven-year-old Elise converses with animals.
Her twin brother, Frankie, unwittingly opens portals to other worlds. As if fitting in with their strange abilities at St. Dominic's Children's Home wasn't hard enough, sinister men appear one day in search of the twins. Aided by their formidable librarian, Frankie and Elise evade capture and flee across the country. They find themselves in hiding on a Texas ranch with a quirky physicist and his tall, dark, and mysterious wife. There, the twins learn that the men searching for them are enemies of the father they never knew they had, the ruler of a faraway kingdom. The kingdom of Stromboden is so far away in fact, it's not even in this reality.
The children must stay hidden from their hunters long enough for the doorway to their world to reopen for escape, but their unique talents rustle up clues that the ranch may not be the safe haven that it seems.