Written for anyone who loves a good adventure story, "Lockerboy" is a realistic thriller in the style of such classics as "Journey to the Center of the Earth," "Treasure Island," and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." Here’s a summary of the action: Chapter one: Martin McCarty’s first day at a new high school, Diablo Valley High in the Nevada desert, after growing up in the redwood forests of California. He’s 15, slender, moderately athletic, has a slight stammer when he’s nervous, and possesses a dry sense of humor that’s not loud or showy. His mother was killed a year ago in a car wreck, his father is sullen and struggling. On the bus to school he’s given warnings from all the other kids about the monstrous, overpowering principal who rules by intimidation. Principal Spyr is indeed threatening. In his first class, when Martin jokes nervously with the teacher, the principal walks in to threaten him and the rest of the students. Martin’s next classes are just as demeaning. At lunch he’s met by an older student, Peter, who invites him to come over after dinner for some explanations. On the bus ride home Martin is befriended by a creepy little kid name Simon, who has been following him around during the day. Chapter two: That night at Peter’s house Peter tells Martin the history of the school and its terrifying principal. The kids have figured out a way to deal with him (a group called the Lockerboys is mentioned), and Peter will tell Martin all about it if he can pass a test to prove his worthiness and loyalty. Chapter three: Martin’s test. Martin succeeds but in his haste to escape the dark house he leaves behind a tell-tale clue as to his identity. Chapter four: Martin is told the rest of Peter’s secret about the Lockerboys: they’re the smartest, most talented kids who have chosen to escape underground. The area is honeycombed with tunnels and caves created by a tributary of the San Andreas Fault, and access is gained through a secret entrance. Martin enters and meets these guys and girls, all of them like young commandos. He is given a remarkable tour; he’s also told how the kids live and about a tunnel the kids call Main Street, which they can use to leave the area completely when they want. Martin also hears about a subterranean presence known as the Lockerman, who is rarely seen and stays out of their way. Because his life up above is so bleak, and because he realizes he’s left that identifying clue in Spyr’s house, he decides to join this group and returns to the surface to gather a few things and leave a note for his dad. Chapter five: While at home getting ready to run away to the caves, Martin is joined by Simon, who shows up unexpectedly and pries for information. Martin feels sorry for the little outcast and has a long conversation with him, but eventually Martin chases him off and starts to write a letter to his dad. He enjoys a long memory about him and remembers his advice to think for yourself and not waste time because it could all be over instantly, as they’ve both learned from the death of Martin’s mother. Chapter six: Martin sneaks back to the secret entrance and is about to go in when Principal Spyr surprises him. Spyr flings open the entrance and climbs in, dragging Martin with him. Martin and Spyr get separated underground and Martin, because he’s already been there, knows where to go. During the thrilling chase Martin runs ahead and hides near the bottomless pit and throws his voice into it, hoping to lure Spyr below. Spyr, though, doesn’t fall for the trick and is about to pounce on Martin when the grotesque Lockerman suddenly emerges from the shadows and casts Spyr into the pit. The Lockerman then disappears and Martin goes looking for the rest of the Lockerboys, now no longer stammering and fully confident in his abilities. Chapter seven: Martin underground, two weeks later. He’s become a leader among the Lockerboys and has invented a way to make small oil lamps along the trails. We understand the wonderful system the Lockerboys have set up for gathering/distributing supplies and for helping each other. Martin teams up with a clever girl named Penny; they talk about running away to the Main Street tunnel and coming up on the surface somewhere far from the desert, where they’ll then try to contact Martin’s dad and hopefully establish a new life in a new school. Martin investigates the bottomless pit and realizes there’s a way Spyr might have survived his fall. At different times Martin feels like he’s being followed, and finally he finds out who it is, a scary scene that leads to a surprise. Martin addresses the group of underground kids and challenges them all to follow Penny and him out to the Main Street tunnel where they’ll then escape to a new, better world together. Chapter eight: Martin has an idea and, just before everyone is going to leave the caves and march to Main Street, he runs back in to try to find the Lockerman. He finds him and puts together details he’s picked up in recent weeks to arrive at a powerful conclusion about his identity. Earthquakes start to rumble through the caves and everybody heads out towards Main Street. There’s a final encounter with Spyr as the earthquakes intensify and start to collapse all the caves. Chapter nine: For days the group walks the reinforced Main Street tunnel. Kids exit at different points and then all decide to exit together, except for Martin and Penny. They want to keep on going alone. After a few more days of walking they come to a small pod on a track. They ride the pod through the tunnel to its endpoint, and they climb a ladder that takes them up to ... an unforgettable ending.