The summer of 1972 is a turning point for fourteen-year-old Travis when he and his best friend, Cooter, team up with the older Jimmy to help destroy Ira Yates's prize watermelon patch. With a deadbeat dad and the guilt of his grandfather's death weighing heavy on his shoulders, Travis (POV) has become moody and disconnected toward his family and the world in general. But Travis soon finds out that he's in over his head in the bad-boy department when the untrusting Jimmy gives Travis a bloody nose and two black eyes.
Now Travis has to somehow avoid the vindictive Jimmy while trying to save face in front of Leah, a beautiful girl that has befriended him. Still, the biggest challenge for Travis will ultimately be forgiving himself while learning a few of life's lessons from wise old Ira Yates.