Part timber wolf, Jim Ugly is a proud and aloof one-man dog. And that man is Jake's father, an actor in the raffish world of the frontier West. When he suddenly disappears, the boy and the dog are thrown into an uneasy alliance on a wild, helter-skelter journey to the Sierra Nevada mountains and San Francisco. Here is Newbery winner Fleischman at his finest, in a book full of comic surprises and swift adventure.
Twelve-year-old Jake Bannock cannot believe that his actor-father is dead and he is an orphan. Now all Jake has left is his father's wolflike dog, Jim Ugly. But is his father really dead?
When Jake hears talk about a fortune in missing diamonds, he wonders if his father is hiding out somewhere. Jake feels sure that Jim Ugly has the nose to pick up his father's trail. But eyes are watching every move they make. Whom can Jake trust on his search for the truth about his father?