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Imagination floods the elementary school's hallways each year when the singers and storytellers who visit during the winter raise their incredible tent in the the center of the gymnasium. Few students can concentrate on their assigned vocabulary terms and mathematical word problems, and every teacher must realize they cannot expect their lesson plans to compete with the songs and the stories that accompany the tent's hurry-gurdy melody.
The day when the tent rises in the gymnasium is especially challenging for Hudson Keel, whose imagination runs so wild that Hudson suspects that tent truly journeys between the stars. Hudson fears the tent travels to the places where monsters tread, where danger might claim him, where there are no guarantees that an elementary student will be returned home. So Hudson hides a weapon in his left sneaker on the day the tent returns to his school's gymnasium, and so attracts the attention of the singers and storytellers who control the tent's surprising magic.