Gallico makes a return to his earlier style – the small boy armoured in innocence and faith, as made famous by The Small Miracle. The odyssey of nine-year-old Julian West leads him across the country from San Diego, California to Washington on a lonely and courageous venture to patent his invention. He meets a man who offers him help and companionship – at a price. But like Christian in Bunyan’s A Pilgrim’s Progress, Julian knows not friend or enemy, but marches steadily through a series of fantastic situations and all-too-real dangers. If these perils are conquered by innocence when Julian’s private world is shattered at the end of the Journey, Julian is ready – for he is no longer a child.