Bradley Wallace Murphy just turned thirteen, and he's not happy about it. He doesn't fit in at school, he's no good at sports, a bully torments him, he's a disappointment to his parents, and his only "friends" are fictional characters on a TV show called Dark Shadows. He's on the verge of manhood, but wants no part of that, either. Then he finds the egg and everything changes. From this egg hatches Whilly, a supposedly mythical dragon that bonds with him emotionally and spiritually. The sudden responsibility of hiding, feeding, and caring for a rapidly growing dragon in a small California city in 1970 forces Bradley Wallace to grow up whether he wants to or not. Through their adventures together, boy and dragon learn the true nature of their symbiosis and Bradley Wallace learns that he is not just a misfit kid. He's dangerous. More dangerous than anyone in history. So dangerous that he might be killed if the truth comes out. The boy who doesn't want to grow up comes to realize that it might be better for the world if he didn't.