Freak, Fiona and River live in Cheshire. Cheshire is just your normal small town except for the fact that there is a giant wasteland eating up the middle of it. Years ago the Rodmore Chemical plant ignited the coal under the ground and it has been burning ever since. It has created the Hellsboro area and the kids are the only people living on one side of town because all the houses were destroyed. One day while waiting for the bus they find a sofa sitting at the bus stop. The sofa leads them to the Underhill House across the road where they discover Alf. Turns out Alf is an alien from Indorsia, their is a AI computer named Guernica, Alf's dead sister Miranda's consciousness lives in the computer and the sofa can tesser. Alf's father is trying to take over Earth through mind control and flash mobs and they must stop him with the help of a rare zucchini crayon.
If you think this sounds ridiculous you would be right, but it is also a lot of fun. There are tons of fun details in this book and they are what makes it so special. I loved the references to books like Lord of the Rings and A Wrinkle in Time. I loved strange things like the zucchini crayon and Jackson Pollock's coloring book. I especially loved the intelligent sofa and the ax-weilding crazy ghost. There is a ton of things going on in this book and you really have to pay attention to appreciate them all.