As the foreword tells us, this started not as an intentional book-writing endeavor, but just a father and son having fun and telling one another a story. I'm very glad they did. The book is actually told from the perspectives of a teen boy and a border collie, a very smart dog indeed, alternately. Ben is pretty upset when his dad announces that he's quit his job to flip houses. Especially since it means that the sports camp he'd been looking forward to is now not a done deal. His father is impetuous and spontaneous, Ben and his mother are not. One more spontaneous gambit is that his father tells him that they are going on a long road trip. Why? Because there's a homeless border collie puppy out there that needs them and the shelter is several cities away. Ben's pretty okay with the new puppy idea, but he's still angry with his dad about the rest of the drastic changes in their lives. So, he invites his "bad influence" friend to come along. This is kind of a, well, road trip kind of book. They have a series of happenstances that makes their group keep growing. Atticus is the most observant and the most knowledgeable about human behavior, but he's a dog, so only the reader gets to know what's in his head. All's well that end's well, and while this one was wrapped up pretty tidily, it was a nice trip getting there.