With a long list of her mother’s dos and don’ts swirling in her head, and with a ticket that will get her only halfway home at the end of summer, fourteen-year-old Megan Barnett boards the eastbound train. Her destination, the Mississippi River at Burlington, Iowa, is twenty-four hours and a host of unfamiliar seatmates away. The most pleasant of these characters is Horace, an engineering student whose passion for newspapers, combined with a sharp curve of the tracks, land him nearly in Megan’s lap.
The parade of interesting strangerssome of whom aren’t what they seem doesn’t end with Megan’s arrival in Burlington, where she joins her sister’s family on the riverboat, the Oh My. River travel, as Megan quickly learns, is fraught with danger, both on the water and off. A keen eye, for seeing beneath the surface of things, can make all the difference.
Leaving a trail of discarded rules and newspaper headlines in her wake, Megan takes on the river and reaps its rewards.