Adventures with an American flavor reminiscent of Mark Twain's Tom and Huck. Rick Edwards' young life is turned upside down when his dad returns from the war and the family moves from Aunt Marge's Idaho farm to Southern California. There, surrounded by the river bottom and the orange groves, with the beach, mountains, and desert a short drive away, Rick discovers a cadre of friends. Confronted with their fathers at home instead of at war, new neighborhoods, new threats-nuclear holocaust, polio, a war in Korea-the boys unite as The Dead Possum Gang. Together, they face the mysteries of boys becoming men. When Diane moves in next door to Rick, she brings her flute, friendship, and danger in the form of her step-brother, Larry. After tragedy strikes the Dead Possum Gang, the boys discover what friendship, loyalty, and life's hard lessons are all about.