Ella McKenzie discovers new friendships and develops excellent sleuthing skills while staying with her estranged grandma during one summer that she will never forget.
Amy McKenzie is sick. In fact, she has leukemia and requires a potentially life-saving but risky stem-cell therapy that could also cost her her life. While she undergoes treatment, her daughter Ella is sent to live with her grandmother, Violet VonStern, on her peacock ranch in New Mexico.
To her surprise, Violet isn’t your typical doting grandmother. In contrast, she is an avid bibliophile with a collection of rare books she has gathered from her travels around the world. However, the unique collection of artifacts also inspires a rigid and distant personality. Ella quickly dons her with the secret nickname Grand Major, or GM, confiding in her new friend Rosie that Violet’s bark is definitely as bad as her bite.
Rosie and her father Miguel work on Violet’s ranch, and Ella and Rosie become close friends. Christopher Abercrombie, a fellow collector of fine things, pays Violet a visit during Ella’s stay.
Though Christopher and Violet have been colleagues for many years, it becomes clear very quickly that she doesn’t know him as well as she thought she did. When one of her rarest books, Kepler’s Dream, goes missing, Christopher immediately blames Miguel for the disappearance.
Ella isn’t convinced and decides to do her own investigation. After spying on Christopher and his nephew Jackson having a heated conversation outside, she overhears Christopher demanding that Jackson help him steal the book or he won’t pay his college tuition. Ella and Rosie set out to uncover the truth about what’s really going on.
Ella tries to tell Violet about her discovery, but Violet doesn’t believe her. Christopher prepares for his departure from the ranch, but before he can load up his suitcases, Ella rifles through them and finds a different, rare book among his personal effects. When she tells Violet, she still isn’t convinced that Christopher would ever do such a thing to her.
Until, that is, she pulls a book off her shelf, and discovers it has been replaced with a copy that is filled with blank pages. Only then does she sadly accept the truth that Ella has been right all along.
To make matters worse, when Ella finds a clue that might lead her to the location of Kepler’s Dream, she discovers that her own father is the thief who had taken it and stashed it away before planning to sell it off for cash.
Ella is heartbroken to know that her father is the thief. However, Miguel finds a hospital bill and learns Walter had planned to sell the book so that he could pay off Amy medical bills after her treatment, an expense totaling $174,000.
In the end, after Amy recovers from her treatment, Violet gifts Kepler’s Dream to Amy and pays off the past due mortgage so that she and Ella can go back to a normal life—a life that Walter decides he has much to make up for missing out on.
The Dove Take:
Kepler’s Dream is a poignant film that shows how one little girl, with the right amount of curiosity and determination, can overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges—and come out on top, with new friends and lasting memories. This film is Dove-approved for all-ages.