In Iowa circa 1929, spunky twelve-year-old Tugs vows to turn her family’s luck around, with the help of a Brownie camera and a small-town mystery.
Tugs Esther Button was born to a luckless family. Buttons don’t presume to be singers or dancers. They aren’t athletes or artists, good listeners, or model citizens. The one time a Button ever made the late Goodhue Gazette – before Harvey Moore came along with his talk of launching a new paper – was when Great Grandaddy Ike accidentally set Town Hall ablaze. Tomboy Tugs looks at her hapless family and sees her own reflection looking back until she befriends popular Aggie Millhouse, wins a new camera in the Independence Day raffle, and stumbles into a mystery only she can solve. Suddenly this is a summer of change – and by its end, being a Button may just turn out to be what one clumsy, funny, spirited, and very observant young heroine decides to make of it.