Jennifer “Scout” Lauer was born in South Africa. Her father Dennis, a photojournalist, was on assignment in Johannesburg when he met Cheryl who worked on her family’s game reserve. The two fell in love, married and had Jennifer. Scout spent her early childhood in South Africa surrounded by local wildlife and befriending a young Zulu boy named Bongani Sibisi.
Dennis and Cheryl divorced when Scout was four, and she moved to Manhattan with her father while Cheryl stayed behind in South Africa. Scout grew up a city girl and loved it. Imagine her surprise when her father accepts an assignment that will take him around the globe for an indefinite period of time! Her parents decide that Scout should move to South Africa to live with her mother while her father is traveling.
Meanwhile, Cheryl has remarried Roger Schickler, a South African, and together they have a son, Tyler who is now eight. So, Scout’s life takes a 180 degree turn. She leaves her home, her friends, her school and her favorite pizzeria around the corner, moving to the other side of the world to live with a mother she has seen only a few times a year, a stepfather she’s met twice, and an excitable half-brother who is as annoying and pesky as a young sibling can be. Not quite her idea of a good time! It’ll take a while for this experience to grow on her!