Jill Gray has always felt inconsequential (her older brother and best friend Phoebe are real winners) and now she gets a chance to substitute for Phoebe as a mother's helper in the Pacific wilderness. There are no facilities; there are rattlers, bears and mountain lions; and just after they get there, a flash flood almost submerges the cabin. Mrs. Wendell is on the road, and Jill retrieves the three youngsters. When they return to the cabin, along with Greg, a young scientist hunting for specimens, it is to dig for tinned food in the silt -- a few cans of sardines. During the next anxious hours with their minor hardships, there's enough to test the efficiency of any postgraduate girl scout and to prove to Jill that she's just as capable as she'd like to be.... Believability is the book's best feature -- the youngsters are possible and the dialogue's passable. As such its optional but certainly not obligatory at this level.