Skiff Beaman has a boatload of problems. Ever since his mother died, his father doesn't want to get up off the TV couch - even when the Mary Rose, his fishing boat, sinks at the dock. Twelve-year-old Skiff's been bailing out Rose by himself for months, getting up before dawn to pump out the bilge and keep her floating - just in case his dad decides to put his beer aside and get up and go fishing. But once a boat has gone under, you can't bail it out.
With a nod to Hemingway, award-winning novelist Rodman Philbrick presents a starkly dramatic yet poignant story about a determined boy who refuses to give up despite overwhelming odds. Skiff Beaman makes a choice to take on the world - but can he possibly beat the odds and win?