You need only one best friend, Daniel Musgrove figures, to make it through high school alive. After his family moves to Mississippi just before his junior year, Daniel finds fellow outsider Tim Cousins. The two become inseparable, sharing a fascination with ridicule, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, and Arnita Beecham, the most bewitching girl at Minor High.
But soon things go terribly wrong. The friends commit a small crime that grows larger and larger, and threatens to engulf the whole town. Arnita, the first black prom queen in the history of the school, is injured and wakes up a different person. And Daniel, Tim, and their families are swept up in a shocking chain of events.
“There is nothing small about Childress’s fine novel. It’s big in all the ways that matter — big in daring, big in insight, and big-hearted. Really, really big-hearted.” –New Orleans Times-Picayune