Sam is new in town and having a tough first week of middle school. When he receives an unusual gift- an animal-faced stocking cap far too childish for someone his age- Sam is inexplicably transformed into a raccoon and popularity quickly becomes an afterthought. Lost in the unfamiliar forest, Sam makes an unlikely friend. Zip Ric, a talking squirrel, is on a mission to save his family's three-hundred year old oak tree from destruction, and needs Sam's help to seek out the wise Wood Seer. But the woods can be a dangerous place, especially for one unfamiliar with the territory. Dangers lurk beneath the stones of dry river beds, within dark corners of abandoned shopping malls, and even from the night sky. Sam will need all the courage and cunning of a real raccoon to save Zip's family, their tree, and his own skin on a harrowing adventure through the North Carolina forest, even as Sam tries to find his way back home.