Results of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in the year 1987.
When young Spit McPhee came to live with his grandfather, the people of the Australian country town of St. Helen feared for his future. For Fyfe McPhee was a crazy old man, barefoot Spit had to fend for himself along the riverbank where they lived.
While some people thought that Spit could look after himself, there were those who believed he would be better cared for in a boys home - and when old Fyfe died after one of his 'turns', a fierce battle to decide Spit's destiny began. But tough-minded Spit wasn't going to any orphanage. He had plans of his own ... though who could say what would become of one small wilful boy who set himself against the well-meaning townfolk and the law ?