An old theme, energetically recreated. Boy meets the elements, wrests a livelihood from harsh surroundings, and has an exciting time doing it. Young David is precipitously dumped into the sea in a boat explosion, he misses the life raft and makes shore somewhere in southern California. He meets only a boy, Pedro, and his sister, Maria. The three make the trek to a northerly point, where their isolation, their relationships, their growth are more than convincing. Their adventures, and their companions, Pico, a roadrunner bird and Chico, half coyote-half dog, add to the holding atmosphere, and the dramatic detail, the simple but strong characterizations are well thought out. There is a great air of conviction and importance in the struggle to survive.