What would you do for the boy you loved? What if to save him you had to abandon him forever?
Fourteen-year-old Joshua Ishkoday faces an impossible decision as a terrifying dream sets him upon a thrilling and treacherous journey of self-exploration through the dangerous vastness of the Wisconsin northwoods. There, along with his best friends, Mokwa and Little Deer, Joshua summons the power to confront his greatest fears. To do so, all he has to do is trust in his dreams. Unfortunately, Joshua discovers that his dreams have been deceiving him thanks to the intrusion of strange creatures. For out in the middle of the forest dwell the enigmatic Memegwesi, bizarre manitous who have a special plan for Joshua. Joshua soon realizes that he has three monsters to battle: the extraordinary creatures haunting his dreams, the dangerous torrential storm brewing in the northwoods, and finally, the greatest demon of all—his homophobic mother.
In the months following the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, fourteen-year-old Joshua, a half Native American boy, is new to a Boy Scout troop and spending a week camping in northern Wisconsin. The weaker kids in the troop soon realize Joshua is not afraid to stand up to the troop’s ruthless bullies. Joshua’s bravery and kindness is infectious, and the bullied Scouts quickly find their own inner strength.
Joshua, however, is plagued by self-doubt as he realizes he has feelings for Cody, the son of the troop’s harsh and puritanical Scoutmaster. The two discover they have more in common than Scouting as they share their deepest secrets and develop a close friendship. That friendship faces its greatest challenge as the homophobic bullies claim a “faggot” has “infected” their troop. As if struggling to come to terms with his sexuality while dealing with hatred and bigotry isn’t enough, Joshua discovers the camp holds another dark mystery, one that will make him summon all his courage and learn for the first time what it truly means to be brave.