The Summer I Held The Chisel is told by Daisy Ryals, a young girl who relates the accounts of one summer in her life. The majority of the names, places and events are real. Conversations are created in order to make the book an adventure instead of a nonfiction account. It is historical fiction, looking through a window into the Depression age when harvesting dinosaur tracks was viewed as a way to obtain money for basic items like shoes and winter coats for a family of eight.
The setting is near Glen Rose, Texas where the Ryals family work. They live beside the Paluxy creek, which houses ancient tracks of reptiles who roamed the earth before man existed. The Summer I Held The Chisel reveals the determination and work ethic of men and women during one of the most difficult times in the history of the United States.