Kalvin, an eleven-year-old kudzu monster, is itching to leave home for several weeks and explore the forest on his own. After he convinces his worried parents that he is strong enough to handle any danger, he takes off but promises to return before winter.
However, his promise is not easy to keep. Kalvin gets scarred and bruised from one mishap after another. In the middle of a storm he discovers a man-made dam is giving way. Down the stream is a small human community. Kalvin alerts the humans before the dam breaks. When a girl slides down a muddy bank into a flooded stream, Kalvin plunges into the raging water to save her.
He is battered unconscious and awakens in a large lake badly wounded and completely lost with winter a couple of weeks away. As he tries to find his way home, Kalvin wanders into a large city and tangles with thieves.
But his biggest challenge comes when he must fight for his life against evil creatures known as creepers.