After getting in trouble at school 13-year-old Ethan Oppenheimer is sent to live with his grandparents. Although he had lots of friends at his old school Ethan finds it hard to fit in. As the only white, Jewish student in a school of African Americans and Hispanics, he is constantly teased and made to feel like an outsider, but as time passes Ethan gets involved in the jazz band and makes new friends. It is ideal for children aged 12 years and over.
Pamela Ehrenberg has been an educator in the Washington DC area for 10 years, including teaching English in a public junior high school very similar to the once portrayed in the novel. She currently serves as a consultant for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.