Arnold “Hap” Fox tells the story of his adventures with Henry Hawk when they run away from the sixth grade in Cleotis, Indiana, trying to join their fathers in Biloxi on the Gulf. Inspired by Huckleberry Finn, they patch up a derelict canoe to float down the Wabash to the Ohio and then to the Mississippi. Cap'n Veech warns them, “These days Huck's trip couldn't happen. There'd be Amber Alerts and squads of social workers on his tail to bring him back home and put him in counseling. Wouldn't get much past Paducah.”

Hap and Henry with Hap's dog Shep nearly drown, wash up in Kentucky, and begin hiking. Henry is a talented liar. Hap is more innocent and imagines the dangers ahead. They are arrested for vagrancy, thrown in jail, and wind up in protective custody on a farm where Augusta and Arbutus Gorch are experienced foster parents. Ignoring warnings about bears and snakes, Henry insists they run away to head south. After three nights in Bobcat Woods, Hap decides he isn't cut out to be an explorer. He is happy to hole up at Eve's Orchard, a floundering commune, that keeps afloat selling goat cheese and marijuana.

From his reading about motherless boys, Hap worries that he will receive his comeuppance for his rebellion, but he cannot imagine what that comeuppance will be. Along the way he learns that he is more comfortable at home in his bed instead of playing Daniel Boone. He also finds out that even when adults are confused, there is more than one kind of family that cares about its children.
Published: AuthorHouseBooks on
ISBN: 9781481755580
List price: $3.99
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