"Surviving the Applewhites" by Stephanie S. Tolan is a book about a 13-year-old boy sent to live with an eccentric family after he is kicked out of school. Though he initially thinks the move will give him more freedom to continue causing trouble, he ends up finding the family he never had.
The main character in "Surviving the Applewhites" is Jake, a boy who has been living with his grandfather since he was a child. After causing trouble for the last time, Jake is kicked out of his public school. Jake's grandfather immediately sees an opportunity to rid himself of Jake, so he sends him to live with another family, the Applewhites.
When Jake arrives at the Applewhite's home, he keeps to himself at first. Every member of the family is an artist and a bit eccentric, so he feels like an outsider. When the father of the family – Randolph Applewhite – has trouble putting together a production of "The Sound of Music," Jake finds himself on stage and in the spotlight. He is shocked to find out he has a talent for acting and also enjoys the new hobby. By opening night, Jake is a part of the Applewhite family, and he has finally decided to quit causing trouble both inside and outside of the classroom.