DANNY MALLOY had planned to go home this summer to see his mom, but now, thanks to a lost job, he's stuck with his foster parents, who live on the Mississippi River in southeastern Minnesota. He considers running, but decides to stay, both in honor of his own Samurai code and for the sake of a young owl that he has adopted.
As the summer progresses, Danny finds himself learning all about summer life on the river-fishing and exploring, learning about the area and its wildlife. He even starts to have fun, in spite of his thwarted summer plans.
Then, a newly proposed power project threatens the river-its habitat, and the lifestyle of everyone who lives nearby. Danny gets involved in saving the river, learning a lesson and discovering a mystery in the process.