DYLAN'S SCOUT TROOP goes camping in Halape, a remote spot below the volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. The only thing wrong with the weekend on a beautiful, peaceful beach is Louie, a tough older boy. Louie and Dylan just can't get along.
That night an earthquake rocks the camp, and then a wave rushes in, sweeping everyone and everything before it. Dylan and Louie must team up on a dangerous rescue mission. The next hours are an amazing story of survival and the true meaning of leadership.
Eighth grade Boy Scouts and best friends Dylan and Casey are excited about their weekend camping trip to Halape, a remote beach campground at the foot of the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. At first, their only concern is the inclusion of Louie Domingo, a tough kid from the wrong side of town brought along by the scoutmaster, Casey's father. But during the hot, rugged hike to the campsite and again each evening, the eerie howling of a pair of feral dogs, one white and one dark, unsettles the friends even more than Louie's hostile attitude. A Hawaiian ranch hand who visits the campsite tells the boys that the volcano goddess Pele often appears in the guise of a white dog as a warning before the next eruption of the active volcano Kilauea. The scouts are skeptical, but that night an offshore eruption triggers a tsunami that threatens their lives and forces Dylan to team up with Louie to try to rescue several of their scattered and injured companions. Based on an actual event experienced by the author's cousin in 1975 (as described in a lengthy author's note), this survival adventure is dynamically integrated into one of those beautiful but potentially deadly Hawaiian settings for which Salisbury's stories are renowned. The tsunami that roars over the campers dramatizes the power of natural forces to overwhelm mundane human concerns. Salisbury skillfully weaves together the elements of scouting, male bonding, outdoor adventure, and natural disaster in a spectacular setting.