“He’s trying to portage the kayak by himself!” Herb exclaims. Before either of us can run forward to help him, Charlie stumbles. The earth beneath him gives way, and he and his boat tumble down in a small landslide. They hit the water above the falls with a splash.

“Rescue rope!” I scream.

Does Wilf have what it takes to survive the river? Wilf is convinced his parents want nothing to do with him. They both have demanding careers and are never home. When he isn’t in school, he is left to his own devices or shipped away to camp. But, at fifteen, Wilf is adamant that he is too old for summer camp.

When his parents ignore his protests and ship him off anyway, he knows how he will get their attention: He will escape from camp by canoe and spend the rest of his vacation alone in the woods, proving to his parents he deserves his independence. His plan begins to unravel when his cabin mate forces Wilf to take him along. Things go from bad to worse when a younger camper follows them down the dangerous white water and they all end up in a fight for their lives against the unforgiving river.

Read the story behind the book.