Tess is a “switcher”, a person who is able to physically change herself into any kind of animal while retaining most of her human mentality. While in animal form, she does find herself conforming to some animal habits; for example, when a squirrel, she discovers an obsession with storing nuts for the winter, despite knowing she won't be in squirrel form to collect in the frosty months.
Tess's ability is inborn. There are no magic spells, no curses involved. She has simply discovered the talent at an early age and continued to use it - in private - ever since. The story opens as she encounters, for the first time, another switcher. To her dismay, she learns that the ability to switch will end on her fifteenth birthday.
Kevin is a strange boy, who admits to being estranged from his family and to spending most of his life as a rat. He faces his imminent birthday with dismay, for he will be forced to choose a form - human or animal - and stick to it forever. The two switchers get involved in a quest of world-shaking consequences as a new ice age is about to descend on Earth. Kevin's deadline adds to the suspense as it seems he might be trapped forever in animal shape at the icy Pole.
This report prepared by Sally Odgers