9 and 11 year old boys get kidnapped in Scottsdale during the summer and abandoned in the desert. "...It's up to them to survive, using only what they happen to have in the station wagon. How can a pair of shoes, a set of hubcaps, and the contents of their mother's shopping bags be used for desert survival?..."
Scott, 11, and Robbie, 9, argue and scuffle constantly. After a trip to the local mall one hot Arizona afternoon, the brothers and their mother stop at a gas station. She leaves the car running while she goes to pre-pay for gas, and an armed man hijacks the car and kidnaps the boys. After meeting his jeep-driving partner, the fugitive leaves the boys and the car in the desert. Frightened but unharmed, Scott begins to drive the car back to civilization, but runs out of gas. The rest of the story describes the suffering, terror, and hallucinations the siblings experience in their attempt to survive.