Independent-minded Sam does not like the fact that she has to spend a month of her summer vacation at her grandparents’ place.
Twelve-year-old Sam adores her grandmother, but Grandma will be at work most of the time during Sam’s visit, leaving Sam with the Colonel, her prickly grandfather. Sam’s relationship with him is shaky at best, and now that the Colonel has had to retire from his career as a military pilot, he is harder than ever to get along with.
Sam soon finds that her grandfather’s behavior is even stranger than she expected. He keeps disappearing for long stretches of time and won’t let Sam go into the old barn. Sam is eager to solve the mystery, but when she discovers that the Colonel is building an airplane, they both have a decision to make. Will Sam let the cat out of the bag and ruin her grandfather’s plan? Or will he relent and let Sam help him finish the plane?
In this story filled with interesting facts and aeronautical information, author Kathleen Benner Duble skillfully mines the depth and complexity of human relationships and what happens when dreams, once deferred, may finally be realized.