Aspiring reporter Kit Kittredge (Abigail Breslin) can't resist bringing home strays, whether it's Grace, an abandoned basset hound, or Will (Max Thieriot of Jumper) and Countee (Willow Smith), a pair of young hobos willing to trade work for meals. Bright, inquisitive and generous, Kit is a natural born leader. But her happy childhood is abruptly interrupted when her father (Chris O'Donnell) loses his car dealership and must leave Cincinnati to look for work. Kit and her mother Margaret (Julia Ormond) are left to manage on their own, growing vegetables, selling eggs and even taking in an assortment of boarders including an itinerant magician (Stanley Tucci), a vivacious dance instructor on the prowl for a husband (Jane Krakowski) and a zany mobile librarian (Joan Cusack).
When a crime spree sweeps Cincinnati, all signs point to the local "hobo jungle," where Will and Countee live with a group of their impoverished companions. Kit, who always has her antennae out for a good news story, convinces her new friends to take her to see the hobo camp for herself and writes an article that creates a sympathetic portrait of the camp's residents. But when Kit's mother and their boarders become the latest victims in a string of robberies, Kit's loyalties are tested. Will is accused of the crimes and, with all of their savings gone, the Kittredges face losing their house to foreclosure. Determined to recover the stolen money and believing Will is innocent, Kit recruits her friends Ruthie (Madison Davenport) and Stirling (Zach Mills) to help her track down the real culprit. Together they uncover a plot that goes far beyond Cincinnati!
Director: Patricia Rozema
Writers: Ann Peacock, Valerie Tripp
Cinematography: David Boyd
Music: Lesley Barber, Joseph Vitarelli
Principal Cast: Abigail Breslin, Joan Cusack, Chris O’Donnell, Julia Ormond, Stanley Tucci, Jane Krakowski, Glenne Headly, Wallace Shawn
Executive Producers: Julie Roberts, Marisa Yeres
Producers: Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Lisa Gillan, Ellen L. Brothers