by Daniel Phalen

A summer visit to Washington, DC, turns into adventure and mayhem when essay contest winner Rose Doolittle witnesses the kidnapping of Percy Quince Clamdollar, teenage son of the U. S. President. What the White House won't tell the press is that the ransom is presidential pardon for Neville Dredd, serving a life sentence for killing a bank guard.

Dismissed by the adults in charge of the case, 12-year-old Rose makes friends with fellow essay contest winners Antonia Louisa "Toni" Dench, and Carter "Keybo" Stokes, a street-wise local with uncanny computer know-how. Rose and her friends find "Peek" captive on a James River plantation, but get caught themselves.

Recklace Vandle, the leader, releases Rose but charges her with telling the President he has two days to pardon Dredd or his son will die. Rose will be the messenger for both sides.

What will Vandle gain by Dredd's pardon? Are others involved in the plot, and if so, who are they?

With Percy's life hanging in the balance, Rose must answer those questions and more before she can deliver Vandle's message to the authorities. Fearful but trusting her Bear medicine, Rose steels herself for the task, unaware that the biggest surprise, and the most deadly, awaits her return to the capital city.


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