Rather than face the consequences of his attempted shoplifting, twelve-year-old Joel Osler leaves his mothers home in Toronto to go live with his dad and stepmother in Turtle Narrows. He hopes to make a fresh start in the little lakeside town. On the way, he meets a man who shows him the map with its three clues. Joel finds an unlikely ally in the fiercely independent Paige Duggan, a Grade Seven classmate at the school he now attends. Paige lives with her guardian and a growing number of rescued animals in a tiny cottage they call the Mousehole. In an effort to avoid his stepmother and hoping for a dog-walking job like Paiges, Joel volunteers to work at the local animal shelter. Joels past mistakes come back to haunt him when a silver compass disappears from the teachers desk. Is he destined to be the number one suspect every time something goes missing? Joel shows Paige the drawings he remembers from the map, and the two team up to match wits against the man, hoping to discover the meaning of the three clues before he does.