The death of her mother in 1953, just two years after losing her only brother, leaves twelve year old Brenda Kay determined to hang onto her daddy. That turns out to be a bigger job than she thought. Now, she may lose him to a woman, who has her sights set on Brenda's daddy and wants him for her own.
After moving nine times in the past six years, all Brenda wants is a home with the only family she has left, her daddy. But, "Life is always changing," Daddy says, and Brenda begins to think he goes out of his way to make that happen when he leaves her with relatives, right after her mama's funeral, and rushes back to Houston.
Angry, thinking the whole plan for her being there was setup behind her back, Brenda decides to make sure these people know how unhappy she is to be stuck there. To her aunt's dismay, cousin Melanie has an amazing talent for firing up Brenda's already smoldering temper. For comfort, Brenda clings to the only part of her mama she has left – the scent in the night gown she secretly carries with her. The one bright spot in her stay is her uncle, her daddy's best friend since they were five years old.
Each time her daddy visits, Brenda hopes he will take her back to Houston with him. Each time her hopes are dashed, causing her to become more distant. On a snowy December day, only two and a half months after she arrived, Daddy comes to move her again - not to Houston with him, but to the nearly dead East Texas town of Turney, with his parents.
Determined to avoid any close relationships, figuring the people will just die when she isn't looking, Brenda Kay focuses her attention on other things – like catching the sneaky bootlegger, who keeps Pappy's whisky jug full. She doesn't expect her tiny, silent grandma and her snuff spittin' Pappy to touch her heart. She doesn't plan on Billy Neal being able to read her thoughts and almost always have something wise to say just when she needs to hear it. She doesn't plan on meeting others with even bigger problems than her own.
When Daddy surprises her with a female friend and her two boys, Brenda makes it clear that, as far as she is concerned, they are not welcome. Brenda's need to defend and protect her mama's rightful place from this woman causes grief for herself and others, especially her daddy.
Brenda reaches out to the colorful and sometimes eccentric people in her small world trying to figure out what life and family are really all about. Will discovering the identity of the sneaky bootlegger produce the satisfaction she anticipates? Will she be able to find the answers she seeks, save her daddy, and unite her family?
Hiding From Lizards casts a clear light on the emotions and inner struggles a young person experiences during, and after, the loss of parents or siblings, taking the reader on a journey through joy and discovery, but also the sadness and fear that is often hidden from sight while dealing with a life that is always changing.