Kacey Harlow and her best friend, Carsten Hayes, have been inseparable since they met a few months ago at their junior high school. Both outcasts and victims of bullies, they find solace in each other and in their close friendship. Before long, Kacey recognizes that Carsten is lonely and seems so sad much of the time. She suspects that his home life isn’t great, but he refuses to let her in. Every time she asks him what’s wrong, he shuts down completely. Concerned when Carsten misses school one day, Kacey goes to the school secretary and she’s told there’d been unfortunate accident at his home. Then she learns he’d fallen down the stairs, breaking his wrist. Now he’s in the hospital recovering from surgery! But Kacey doesn’t believe for a second that it was an accident. Her suspicions grow stronger over time, but each time she confides in her parents, they dismiss her totally. She feels helpless in saving Carsten from his unloving and neglectful parents, but deep down she knows she must continue to try to advocate for him—no matter the cost.