Chance Reedy had long been abandoned by his father. He was a regular runaway from the foster homes where he had been placed, and he was twelve years old before he discovered he had a home. Home was in the backwoods of the Florida Everglades, with his illiterate Granny and his older brother, Turpem. It's a forgotten, unexpected territory and way of life for Chance, but he is receptive to it. In learning to function with his new family he matures--the catalyst is Turpem's compulsion to show his bravery while Chance is too willing to admit his fears. Turpem and Chance learn about real courage together. The situation is contrived but the author of The Loner and The Rumptydoolers has made the characters and the swampland setting vividly real.