Ten-year-old Travis Moore lives on Badham Island, SC. At the end of the school year, he engages in yet another fight with Big Ray, the school bully. When he goes home to his mother Deloris, grandfather Papa Red, and uncle Rickey he discovers that his great Aunt Eleanor, who lives in Harlem, New York, has been admitted to a hospital. The family plans to travel to Harlem that summer to visit with her are hastened out of concern for the elderly aunt’s welfare.
With his muscular arms wrapped tightly around my mid-section, squeezing the life out of me from behind, he leaned back—and before I knew what was happening, he had me in the air. My feet had left the ground. The situation had quickly and completely gone out of my control. Like a bowling ball being tossed to the ground, I came crashing to the cool earth with a loud,
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