Erik is preparing for his first-ever hunting trip when he learns that his parents are being deployed to Iraq. A few days later, Erik is shipped off to North Dakota to live with Big Darrell and Oma, grandparents he barely knows. When Erik rescues a dog that's been stuck by a porcupine, Big Darrell says Erik can't keep him. But Erik has already named her Quill and can't bear to give her up. He decides to run away, taking the dog and a shotgun, certain that they can make it on their own out on the prairie.
In this story of adventure and survival, Erik learns about the challenges and satisfactions of living off the land, the power of family secrets, and the pain of losing what you love.