Brian staring out the window of a Cessna 406, a small airplane from New York to the tundra of Canada oil fields to live with his father for the summer. He is thirteen years old and the only passenger on this plane, piloted by a man named either Jim or Jake, a name Brian cannot remember. His parents have just divorced. He is overwhelmed with what he calls the Secret, something he knows about his mother that makes him sad. The pilot shows Brian how to fly the airplane. He recaps of the divorce and remember his custody was placed with his mother except for the summers when he would live with his father.Brian sees the pilot rubbing his shoulder and smells a fart. The pilot seems to have no control over the gas he passes, and he rubs his arm
Brian awakens; he is thirsty, and sunburned. He doesn’t know if the lakes water is safe, and he doesn’t want t drink where is the dead pilot, but he forces himself to cup his hands and take a sip. Then he can’t stop. After he drinks until his stomach hurts, he throws it all up. Anyway, his thirst is gone, and he is ready to face reality. He is alone, and no one knows where he is. He is sure they will look for him. He is hungry and must find food.
He remembers Mr. Perpich, his English teacher who always thought positively, so Brian follows his teachings. He has a few coins in his pocket, a fingernail clipper, a billfold with a twenty-dollar bill, and his hatchet. He also has a pair of good tennis shoes, socks, jeans, underwear, and a T-shirt. However, it comes to Brian that he had flown for a long time on a different course, and he might be several hundred miles from the recorded flight plan. Now he knows that they might not find him. The only weapon and tool he has is the hatchet, and he needs to find a shelter and food.
Brian recalls the best shelter would be a lean-to because 2 years ago he played with terry as if them where scouts. He finds a ridge under a ledge that makes a perfect roof over a spot, but gives protection. Besides, there is a small sand beach leading to his water supply.
Once he finds his shelter, he becomes concerned about finding food. He searches in his memory for a surviving TV show and remembers one. He remembers how they