In Home Before Dark, by Sue Ellen Bridgers, the main character Stella, is a fourteen-year-old, is looking for some roots to hold onto. Stella's family has been living out of their battered station wagon. Her family has a very difficult life; they are migrant workers. Stella's father, James Earl, decides to go to his childhood home. Stella and her father are very happy about this, but her mother, Mae, isn't. When they get to the family farm, James Earl tells everyone to stay in the car because his brother, Newton, does not know that James Earl is coming to visit, let alone live with him for a while. Finally Stella has a place she can call home, somewhere she can explore all the exciting things going on in her life, like boys and friends. Stella's excitement turns to confusion when she finds herself between two very different boys, Toby, the farmhand, and Rodney, the awkward rich boy. Meanwhile Stella's mother dies, and Stella takes this hard. After a while, James Earl decides to get married again. Stella does not want to move again, after finally getting some roots established.