Junior has more than his fair share of burdens. He was born hydrocephalic, and he lives on an Indian reservation where there is little hope or money, but plenty of alcoholics, including his parents. His sister hardly ever comes out of the basement. He gets beaten up a lot for looking weird. But he has a few things going for him too. He’s smart, good at drawing and basketball, and, unlike his friends and relatives, he has ambition and hope. But when he decides to reach for more by going to a white school 22 miles away, his burdens grow even greater.