In the fall of 1636, Adam, fourteen-year-old heir to the House of Windjammer, must find a way to keep his family afloat after his father dies and tulip fever sweeps Amsterdam.
In the autumn of 1636, tulip fever is sweeping Amsterdam, and Europe's fortunes rise and fall with the promise of the New World. That year, the great Dutch family of Windjammer suffers the loss of their entire trading fleet and they face certain ruin. The only person who can save the family's home, fortune, and reputation is Adam, the family's young heir. But he faces many enemies encouraged by the despicable banker Hugo van Helsen, and stirred up by the wicked preacher Abner Heems. Only one hope remains:a dark secret, a rare treasure called the Black Pearl. It is not the precious jewel that Adam imagines, but a flower:a tulip:one of the rarest and most valuable. In fact, it is worth enough money at the height of tulip fever to save the House of Windjammer. Adam is determined to find this hidden treasure, but he is not the only one on a mission to find the Black Pearl.