This semi-autobiographical novel is set in a small, rural Alabama community during the height of World War II. At that time, the modern Civil Rights Movement was scarcely in its infancy.
The main characters are two ten-year-old sons of sharecroppers--one black and one white. Amid the difficulties, deprivations, and disadvantages resulting from living on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder, they share a friendship that carries them through tough times and enriches their lives with joy. A terrible sequence of events threatens that friendship and rocks their world.