No written language. That’s the problem facing eleven-yearold Alastair Sutherland’s missionary parents in the Philippine Islands in 1949. How can they leave the Palawanos tribe a copy of the Gospel in their own language if it can’t be written down? Then they read about Joy Ridderhof, a missionary who, with her portable recording machine, makes records of the Gospel message in tribal languages. Alastair is pleased when she agrees to come to their town, especially since his good Palawanos friend, Lastani, is chosen to translate. He also secretly hopes that Miss Ridderhof will accompany him on the ship to Manila so he can start boarding school with other English-speaking kids.
But monsoons, malaria, and a temperamental tape machine interfere with Alastair’s plans and set off a whirlwind adventure. With Miss Ridderhof about to leave and the record still not made, can Alastair and Lastani find a way?