There's never a good time to be orphaned - or abandoned ... especially when you are twelve years old, and it's the Great Depression. In 1928, Shakespearean actors, the McAllisters, are forced to leave their daughter Adversity at the Emu Swamp Children's Home. They fully intend to return, but things don't go according to plan. Then, to make matters worse, Scrimshaw, a villainous theatrical agent, hears the talented Addie sing. He plots to use her in his next money-making venture, but when he turns up at Emu Swamp to collect his prize, Scrimshaw will find she's run away.