The fantastical story of a lonely 11-year-old whose parrot takes him on a magical mystery tour of a planet where sleeping is against the law.
Chester Dumbello's mom interprets people's dreams. One day a white, one-eyed parrot flies into the Dream Caf. Chester's mom says that the day something rhymes with orange, they can keep the parrot. Since nothing does, she comes up with the name Lornge, and the parrot becomes the newest member of the Dumbello family. But there's something odd about Lornge: He never sleeps. (Or as he puts it, "I tell no lies, nor shut my eyes.") It's summer, and school's out - Chester's favorite time of year because the other kids can't bother him about his unusual mother. But he feels trapped in a tug of war between his aunt Dolly, who wants Chester to visit, and his mom, who doesn't want him to go. Then one night, Lornge takes him to the planet Alert, where sleeping is against the law. Chester is adopted by a family named Quick - boasting a mother and a father - and meets all kinds of strange and interesting people. He goes to school, but before long, he is convicted of being a "shuteye" and gets thrown in jail. Suddenly, his home in Lucy, Mississippi, is looking a whole lot better. This is a wildly inventive novel about a boy who yearns to run away - only to discover that there's no place like home.