Family illness necessitated a series of changes in the Stevens' plans. Fourteen year old John would have to forego the Cape Cod Junior Museum summer program and instead spend his summer on the New Jersey shore with the Reeses, close friends of his mother's, and in the company of Brownie Reese, a girl no less. Fascinated by science, John is integrated, when Brownie discovers a whole family of bats residing in a barn on old Grandpa farm. Spurred on by the University's interest in bats for experimental purposes, John, Brownie and Dr. Bill Thomas spend an eventful summer catching the elusive creatures and then helping with the experiments. Brownie is certainly an enigma as far as John is but his mistrust returns when he finds out about her trips to the library in order to gather information on bats. It takes Grandpa to open his eyes to her quest for friendship and a collaboration to solidify their relationship. When this happens, the two surely are ""almost cousins"". Most interesting in its exploration of the dissensions so typical among pre-adolescent boys and girls.