John Rodgers may not know how to get along with his father, how to get a girlfriend, or how to win 1,500-meter races, but he does know how to identify a butterfly. Early in the story, after John learns that his overbearing father has been diagnosed with leukemia, John discovers an extremely rare butterfly: the amazing California Blue, which turns out to be the missing link in the evolutionary chain of butterflies and moths. Right away, the environmentalists' need to protect these endangered butterflies is at odds with the mill workers' need to pay the bills by logging the butterflies' habitat, an ancient Redwood forest. John's father is one of the mill workers, and not surprisingly, his desire conflicts with that of John's need to preserve the rare California Blue chrysalises that populate the forest. From the first page of talented author David Klaas' gripping novel, readers immediately sympathize with John's adolescent insecurities, pain and confusion. John is a sensitive, complex protagonist, and the prose zips along with cliffhangers at the end of every chapter. Young athletes will enjoy the descriptions of running competitions, as well as John's inner thoughts as he strives to become a better runner. John's crush on his high school biology teacher, the pretty and compassionate Miss Merrill, adds a romantic element to this story about the human cost of environmental action. This novel will inspire lively debates about animal rights and the preservation of nature versus the needs of industry and employment.