Excellent teacher Mr. Ridley appears from nowhere and accepts a teaching job at the tiny and poor Crow's Crossing School. He's an excellent teacher, but questions swirl around him. Why is he here? Where did he come from? And most importantly, why is he digging holes on Shadow Hill? Tazmin doesn't care about all that. She's learning math. Her brother is learning how to read. But the truth has a way of revealing itself, much to Tazmin's dismay.