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Twelve-year-old Lonny can stop death in its tracks. But there's a price to pay for his magic. Each time he saves a life, he must sacrifice years of his own. In order to keep his power a secret, he's always stayed away from the nearby town of Farstoke, where the townsfolk might take advantage of a lifeling boy for their selfish and dangerous ends.
But when Lonny's family is left with no money, he and his brother Midge are forced to venture into Farstoke in search of work. Lonny soon finds that the people of Farstoke aren't the frightening monsters he's been told to fear. Or so they seem at first glance. As Lonny debates revealing his secret ability to the town, he must ask himself if the people of Farstoke are really who they appear to be, and if he is willing to risk his life to save another.