Arden Sachs has always wanted a pet: a purring kitten or an adorable puppy, or even a fuzzy guinea pig. But living in a cramped condo with her mom and siblings means she’s unhappily pet-free. Then her Uncle Eli, a professor and scientist, asks Arden to look after Ludwig, his African Grey parrot, while he’s away on sabbatical in Guinea. A little afraid of the bird, Arden reluctantly agrees to prove that she can handle pet ownership.
But when Ludwig goes beyond his usual sounds and imitations to spout numbers and words that seem way too complex for a parrot, Arden wonders if there's more to this bird than meets the eye. As they get to know each other, Arden realizes Ludwig is not only super smart, he's also fiercely loyal, helping her with everything from her school presentation to her bully problems, and her pursuit of a spot on the Science Bowl team. Ludwig may not be the pet Arden wanted, but he might turn out to be exactly the pet she needed.