Calypso Blue is no orphan, but she might as well be. When she finds herself on a lush tropical island with two pesky adults who insist they're her parents, she knows they're lying.

For one thing, they (and their five children) have brown hair; Calypso has blond. For another, her real parents would never make her comb her hair. Or demand she dig a latrine. Sure, they all wear the same glasses as Calypso--glasses so thick and geeky they might as well be safety goggles--but that does NOT mean they're related. It means nothing at all.

Obviously, Calypso’s best option is to run away and join a family of parakeets. Or orangutans. Heck, even a den of spitting adders might be nice. But then, Calypso finds a filmstrip where a shadowy man in a hat claims she chose to come to the Island. She answered a want ad--an ad she can’t remember, but that promised constant danger, feelings of utter abandonment, and perhaps … treasure.

After a good night’s sleep, all Reggie Blue wants is to get back to Rusty Nail Beach, but Frank won’t let him. To make matters worse, Reggie’s found a new secret weapon, Ticking Dynamo, in his room. But if he can’t get to the Beach, what good will it do?

Desperate, Reggie runs off on his own, where life on the Beach has gotten even more complicated. He’s attracted the unwanted attentions of both the pristine pirate-boy, Jones Rackam, and the bathrobe-clad girl with a head full of curlers, Shirley Mack. Escaped convict Sweet Lottie and her delicious baked goods served undercover of her inflatable rubber raft are at times a treat and at times an annoyance.

But none of these compare to the real threat on the Island, a deadly epidemic turned loose on the Islanders, with no relief in sight. Does Big G, a bigger bully than his older sister Ginger Gumclick, know the cure? Has Herr Tech, an old, hermit-scientist, found what’s causing the disease? Or could it be something flying under everyone’s nose?