Matt is a 12-year-old boy who has come to Maine with his father to build a new cabin for the family. When the cabin is finished, Matt's father must return to Quincy, Massachusetts to get the rest of the family. Matt must stay behind to work and tend to the fields and to look after the cabin. While Matt is alone he encounters several bad experiences: a stranger steals his rifle; his crop is picked over by wildlife; a bear eats some of his food supply; and he is attacked by bees while trying to get some honey. Matt was rescued by a native boy names Attean and his grandfather. Attean and Matt become friends and exchange their knowledge. Matt teaches Attean to read while Attean teaches Matt survival skills. This is a great story about two boys from different cultures learning from each other.