Cooper and his mom run an antique business out of the old barn behind their house. Actually, Cooper does most of the work, since his mom tends to get lost in her own thoughts. He rides his bike, Squeaky, to garage sales looking for treasures, sets the resale prices, and orders the groceries. There's never much money left over after he pays the electric bill, and he dreams of finding something spectacular-but really, he and his mom are doing okay. At least he's better at sniffing out the antiques than Mr. Shepherd-that's the director of the historical museum, who gets to garage sales a few minutes too late.
Then one day Cooper comes home with an item he's never seen before, and everything changes.