An experienced author of children's novels skillfully weaves a boy's problems with his pathological shyness and a suspense story involving rabies into a smoothly written, mildly entertaining thriller. Luke, just finished with sixth grade in a new school he hates, is eager to return to the family cottage on an island where he will spend a summer with his older brother. Unable to speak in front of strangers or in stressful situations, he welcomes the familiar surroundings and a chance to spend time with his best friend Jo, a girl who lives next door. After less than a week, however, disastrous change literally infects his island. A fox taken in by a neighbor dies of rabies, after having infected the neighbor's dog and a stranger, known only to Luke and Jo. It is Luke's desperate search for the potential victim that provides the tension here, as he discovers that he must--and can--reach out to others, even strangers, when there is no other choice. In the end, Luke is beginning to confront his problem and to realize that he can find solutions. This is an efficiently written, believable novel, although not particularly distinguished in style; but after a weak start, Namovicz does interest her audience.