No one in drowsy East Palmetto Grove expects the arrival of one freckle-faced orphan to generate much excitement. There's a war going on, after all. But Patrick Nicholas Digby is no ordinary boy and that rubber duck he clutches....well, the rubber duck isn't at ALL what it seems.
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Imagine an offer of sixty thousand dollars, the "Prize of Your Life," and an all expense paid, two-month retreat in Aspen, Colorado.George Russo is invited to participate in a writing competition sponsored by an agency that represents new authors. It is so intriguing and he is so destitute, he had to accept.Lured to Aspen, the…
When invaders in government-issue blue suits and stolen sun-bonnets overrun his uncle's house, Patrick escapes in a lighter-than-air sailboat with a bug-eyed ornithologist named Stultus. Their quest: restore mythical Great Yellow Doom Birds to their ancestral nesting grounds on far-off Mount Gundibar before Stultus's barbaric rivals ensure every last Doom Bird has been roasted and eaten.
Along the way the peculiar pair encounter a tiger-striped sea-monster (who likes flowers and detests nets), frigid arctic wilderness and tangled jungles, mobile (and antisocial) islands, swarms of near-sighted supersonic beetles, a lot of pirates (who have a special grudge against Stultus), erratic cyclone-like passages....and impatiently waiting to erupt upon their arrival, the fiery Mount Gundibar itself.
Of all the wonders met in their race to rescue the legendary Doom Birds, however, Patrick's greatest discovery just might be the truth about whether he's really an orphan at all.