In 1620, teenager Ethan Williams sails from England to Canada to hunt sea cows in order to help support his struggling family. Ethan takes to the life quickly and learns everything he can from his uncle Cedric, the men, the ship's captain, and a local native tribe, which includes the beautiful and mysterious Aponi. But a powerful storm separates Ethan from his crew on the eve of their departure, and he soon finds himself stranded. With only a few leftover supplies, a wild dog as a companion, and the skills he's learned along the way, Ethan has to find a way to survive the winter so he can rendezvous with the ship when it returns the following year. But it's more than just the lack of food and shelter that he has to cope with; there are also violent natives, pirates, freezing temperatures... and the French. The Islands of Fortune and Misfortune is a smart and exciting tale of one boy's ingenuity in the face of incredible adversity and his determination to see the spring and the faces of his family again.