This novel for young readers takes a young boy from his crowded Miami home to the open expanses of the Florida Everglades. He comes of age in a wilderness both enlightening and dangerous, among a cast of characters that includes a wily alligator hunter, a rich photographer and his daughter (they live on a yacht), and a biologist working for the Park Service.
For Henry Bunks, a secret spot in the city along the canal is his only respite from street gangs, a crowded apartment building, and an uncaring family. His explorations near the canal soon bring him into contact with an outlaw alligator hunter. Stowing aboard his boat, Henry begins a journey away from the city and into the Everglades, a trip that will expand his awareness, change his life, and force him to make difficult decisions.
Moral choices accompany environmental awareness as we learn through Henry's eyes of the mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles of the Everglades. But it's a, final race to save a human life that crystallizes Henry's experiences in this wilderness.