Twelve-year-old aspiring paleontologist Rebel McKenzie wants to spend her summer attending the Ice Age Kids' Dig and Safari, a camp where kids discover prehistoric bones, right alongside real paleontologists. But digs cost money, and Rebel is broker than four o'clock. She is spending the summer at a mobile home park in Virginia babysitting her older sister's young son. When she finds out her annoying neighbor Bambi Lovering won five hundred dollars by playing a ukulele behind her head in a beauty contest, Rebel decides to win the Frog Level Volunteer Fire Department's beauty pageant. Rebel may not be a typical pageant contestant, but how hard can it be? Rebel's dramatic reading about life in the Pleistocene era is sure to blow away the competition. It turns out that winning a beauty pageant is harder than it looks. By the end of the summer, Rebel has learned a thing or two about her true calling that will surprise everyone, most of all herself.