The citizens of the United Caves Society have lived below earth’s ground for three generations. The world above the cave ceilings became uninhabitable. All plant and animal life perished as the ancestors of the cave people moved underground to live in artificial light, engineered seasons, and a new and just society in order to survive in this new world of stone.
Susannah, a twelve-year-old student of Steadman Middle School, longs for the world above. She loves to hear the ancestral stories handed down of how life was before the disaster. She believes she can help restore the earth through science.
The new school year has begun, and she can’t wait for the science fair to begin. She won first prize last year and wants to win again. Unfortunately, her best friend, Agnes, has turned against her, and Susannah doesn’t know why. Susannah learns she has been made leader with team members Martin, Cornelia, and Edward, who don’t seem interested in winning the way she does. Winning seems to have become Susannah’s main goal instead of the restoration of Earth. Will Susannah be able to work with the members of the Z team as she refers to them in her mind? Will she recognize the unique talents of Cornelia, Martin, and Edward instead of trying to force them to be like her? Agnes has been assigned as team leader and has what Susannah feels are the best kids to work with. Will Susannah find out what happened to her best friend who is always mad at her?