The Alaskan wilderness setting is the chief element in this story of Cara, ten, who runs into a dolphin, sea lions, a moose, and a bear in her daily life--as well as keeping company with the family's goat and dog, acquiring a new kitten during the course of the story, and caring for a baby seal until it's old enough to release to the sea. However, Stem's flat recording of these encounters doesn't convey the quality of the experience. Cara also has two older brothers at home, one blandly nice to her and the other suffering from a depression he snaps out of abruptly. The family's summer is marred by news that a corporation plans to buy adjoining land for $70,000 and put up a resort hotel with sports fishing facilities. But Cara's parents come up with a plan for a group purchase of the land, and in the end--just as Cara's eleventh birthday dawns--Blueberry Bill, an old gold miner, enters as the seventh and last of the necessary buyers. This perfunctory plot, together with lame conversations and undeveloped incidents, make this a story of only local interest.