Can a Runaway Boy and an Injured Dog Survive the Wilderness Together? Erik faces his toughest challenge yet: surviving in the wild with just a dog and a hunting rifle! • For fans of Gary Paulsen's wilderness survival stories • By the author of such middle-grade favorites as Signal, The Missing Manatee, and The Ghost of Cutler Creek • Features a timely topic: parents being sent to the war in Iraq Erik is looking forward to going on hunting trips near his hometown in upstate New York. But when his Army Reserve parents are deployed to Iraq, Erik is sent to North Dakota to live with the grandparents he barely knows. Erik is lonely — until he rescues a dog who has been quilled by a porcupine. When his gruff grandfather refuses to let Erik keep the dog he's named Quill, Erik decides to run away and live off the land, taking only a shotgun, Quill, and a few other supplies with him.