Twelve-year-old Rey is sent to an old rundown steel town near Pittsburgh, where he has to deal with his aging grandparents, isolated dad, missing mom, bullies, broken bridges, and horseradish sauce. While Rey sits on an airplane bound for Pittsburgh, he clutches a crumpled te. It's been forty-one days since his mom left- words since. Rey's dad is sending him to Pittsburgh for the summer to stay with his grandparents, so his dad can pull his life together. Rey feels so alone. Somehow Rey has to find himself. He's timid, unsure, yet has to make choices. These choices lead Rey to become more confident, as he makes the transition into his teenage years. Rey arrives in the middle of a heat wave. He quickly runs into trouble with some bullies and is in several difficult situations. Rey hangs out with his friend, Jason and discovers a mentor in his grandfather-bonds which are all put to the test when his grandfather becomes extremely sick and Rey has a final confrontation with the bullies. And then there are his parents. Will things ever return to rmal?