When twelve-year-old Jasper Ludlow's parents flee the city, he gets left behind. He finds refuge on The Traveling Restaurant, a sailing ship captained by old Dr. Rocket and crewed by feisty Polly. Where is Jasper's baby sister? He journeys across seas and rivers, faces whirlpools, storms, and hungry pirates to find her. Who should he trusthis unreliable uncle, the mysterious journalist in black, or the gutsy, flute-playing orphan? Why did his parents abandon him? Who is the true monarch? And why is Lady Gall hunting him?