Pauly Mahoney’s aunt decides to take care of Pauly and her brother, Buddy, after Pauly’s parents are killed in a
bizarre carnival accident. After the rest of Pauly’s family shows little or no interest in the welfare of the two
orphans, Aunt Nora (agreeable to at least prepare for the job) agrees to take this responsibility.
After Aunt Nora agrees to this responsibility, the three head to California, and this sets in motion the plot of
a most entertaining novel.
The adventures the threesome experience are exciting and interesting, but it is the character of Pauly that makes
the novel so gripping. Pauly comes of age as the story progresses, and the reader follows this maturity with
The collection of characters, both good and bad, makes for an entertaining story. The story of Tybalt (yes,
named after the character in Romeo and Juliet), is quite touching, as is that of the Indian woman who returns a
500-year-old mummified descendant to his proper burial ground.
Despite the excellent adventures, it is the formation of a lasting friendship between Aunt Nora and Pauly that
best holds the reader’s attention. What started out as a less-than-favorable situation turns into a loving family.