Drew Barret is a fourteen-year-old, confident and somewhat cocky boy who is growing rapidly and having problems subduing an unfamiliar and undesirable rage within himself. This rage caused problems at his previous school and he's, desperately, hoping it won't rear its ugly head at his new school.
Alexia, his younger sister, is also getting under his skin more so than usual and Drew is struggling to maintain his decorum so he doesn't have to hear his parents' constant nagging.
His parents, Frank and Maria, work hard to provide a well-balanced life filled with love, discipline, a good education, fun and adventure yet Drew feels a constant annoyance with them.
Drew finds most pleasure playing and talking about basketball with his best friend, Trev, who he's known since first grade, when he had fought off a group of boys who were bullying Trev.
When Drew is snatched away from the lake near his home by a monster, Chasqua, his family and Trev, discover Aqualor, a picturesque alien world. Although the world is beautiful, Aqualor's inhabitants are under duress and hiding away from Chasqua, a beastly and bully leader of the Lamera.
The alien newcomers struggle to discourage the Arvaks from going to war with Chasqua and the Lamera and to choose an alternate way. Drew garners the help of the Winged-Groshin to assist and gain freedom and peace for everyone in Aqualor.
Grappling with their own inner demons, the Barrets and Trev witness Drew's journey to self-discovery as they find themselves on the most daunting adventure of their lives.
Return to Isle of the Shallows is a gripping, coming-of-age, fantasy adventure which addresses many themes specific to teens - anger, love, grief, courage, friendship, and belonging among others. Its most prominent theme is anger with ancillary themes of love and respect.