Something about the Okefenokee Swamp of Southern Georgia has always called to 14-year-old Jack Hawkins. But when a nervous mama gator takes a bite out of his handmade canoe, Jack finds himself stranded on a remote island, forced to find his own food and shelter - and to unravel a mystery that reaches far into his past and could change everything he thinks he knows about himself.
For young Jim, the summer of 1968 sparkles with the promise of baseball and pretty girls. But he must reevaluate his priorities when he befriends Sam, an older African-American who shares his love of fishing. Soon Jim realizes there is more to Sam than he ever imagined, and that life's most valuable lessons are often the most painful.