The African Clawed Dwarf Frog is known for its propensity to escape polluted habitats and, despite its aquatic orientation, travel long distances over dry land in search of better environs. Five consecutive state science fair championships have brought child genius Worth Bugg money, recognition, and all of the pressures that accompany it. But when national competition lands the reigning champ and his domineering mom on the sun-soaked shores of Florida, all Worth wants to do is build a sandcastle. His mother's white-knuckle zeal for victory however, won't allow it, insisting instead that he keep his eyes on the gold. Forced to grow up too quickly, Worth's necktie begins to feel more like a noose as he floats helplessly in his mother's wake towards a life he doesn't want. Fortunately, the acquaintance of a new friend, Edith--a Marine Bio nut and free spirit adamant about living life to its spunkiest—sparks a rebelliousness that, through the haze of model volcanoes, might illuminate a way out.