Jack is a Kansas boy who just lost his mother to a brain aneurysm. His father sends him to Morton Hill Academy in Maine. Jack is like a fish out of water. He does not fit in well at first, but he finds a boy who is interesting. Enter...Early Auden. Early is a boy who is different from the other boys at the academy, but he befriends Jack. They develop a relationship based at first around rebuilding a boat. After a mishap with the boat, Jack decides to join Early on a journey to find the great Appalachian bear, a boy named Pi, and his brother Fisher who supposedly died in the war. Early is convinced that if he can find the bear--he will find his brother. Jack thinks he is crazy, but he goes with him nonetheless. Throughout the journey, you learn about both boys as they learn about themselves and what they are really seeking.
I am not going to lie--it took me a while to get into this story. But, once they started on their adventurous journey, I was hooked. I highly recommend reading this one. You will be hoping that Fisher is alive as well.