The author of Waterman's Boy (1990) returns with another book in which respect for the natural environment plays as important a role as the characters. Aaron Singer and his parents are vacationing on Quileute land in the Pacific Northwest. While Dad paints and Mom studies marine life, Aaron makes friends with Robert, a Native American who's learned about his own heritage at the Quileute school. Though too young for the manhood rite of the spirit quest, both boys are intrigued by the idea; on a camping trip, they hope to get away from Robert's older brother long enough to sample what it would be like. A dramatic incident provides at least the semblance of the quest experience: they find an eagle entangled in a fishing net, and--as Robert makes the dangerous trip to get help--Aaron spends a frightening night sustaining the wild, powerful bird. There's not quite enough plot here to balance the earnest transmittal of information; still, the interplay between Native American tradition and the dominant culture, and the idea of self and self-expression are intelligently handled. The author's daughters (Alison, 8, and Katherine, 11) have provided charming chapter headings inspired by Northwest Coast Indian designs.