All Bartleby has known is the life of a pet--basking in his turtle bowl, eating lettuce, and being manhandled by the three boys who live with him. But when the boys watch a TV program about turtles from the Mississippi River, Bartleby sees one with red ear bands just like his. Is a great river his true home? Then the youngest boy accidentally leaves Bartleby at a nearby pond.
Readers will respond with understanding as Bartleby learns to hunt, makes loyal friends, outsmarts dangerous foes, and discovers in himself strength, determination, and courage. For there is another discarded pet in the pond, an alligator who also hails from the Mississippi and wants to find his way back there. Bartleby has a great desire to seek the wild, rushing water that haunts his turtle naps. But can a small turtle hold his own with a gruff and growing alligator? Children will relish this imaginative novel with its marvelous characters and many-layered adventures.