"Melanie Tamaki is an outsider. She is unpopular at school. At home, where she and her loving but neglectful mother live in poverty, she has had to learn to take care of herself. Melanie is just barely coping. Everything changes on the day she returns home to find her mother is missing, lured back to Half World by a nightmare creature calling himself Mr. Glueskin. Soon Melanie has embarked on an epic and darkly fantastical journey to Half World to save her mother. What she does not yet realize is that the state of the universe is at stake..."--From publisher description.