It’s a small and tough world for our entrepreneurial street-smart hero, Din-Din McNally, as he cruises his working class neighborhood on the edge of downtown on his bicycle.
Today, most of the kids are gathered at the house of Laura Huston, a girl who took her life after being bullied. At the wake Jenna reveals herself to be more than a mean girl, she is cruel and unfeeling for a child of 11.
In the days immediately after the Laura’s funeral Din-Din rides his bike to the garage of the neighborhood artsy kid.
Mando Miller is an extraordinarily creative – and oh-so-serious – kid building a puppet theater in the family garage where all the puppets are dead-ringers for the kids in the neighborhood. He happens to be working on a Din-Din puppet: complete with a black eye and bruise from Elroy’s beat down last night.
Jenna is more interested in continuing to intimidate Estella and Trunk – the bully – is licking his chops to devour the new kid Robin—an apparent science and history nerd as he has already humiliated Trunk by upstaging him in class.
After school, Din-Din extends his friendship to Robin – going to his house to return the hat that Trunk stole from the new kid – only to find out that Robin’s mother is the woman from the library who took him under her wing—Miss Delilah.
Din-Din takes Robin to his falling down house to clean himself up for dinner at Robin’s.
Elroy shows up, but Robin distracts him and they run away to Din-Din’s hideaway and make-shift office inside an old warehouse by the train tracks.
At Jenna’s house, she surrounded by her screwed-up family. She escapes to the bathroom and binges on a handful of stolen candy to, make it all better. Maybe there are reasons for the way Jenna is the way she is?
While Din-Din celebrates his hustler’s skills, Robin is getting death threats from Trunk. When he tries to talk to a school counselor about it, the counselor – busy with his own life – blows the kid off.
And Estella’s so-called friends begin abandoning her when word gets out via Jenna that the former sidekick is about to become persona-non-grata.
Just as Trunk is about to clobber Robin, Din-Din yanks the tough guy’s sweat pants down around his ankles. Big boy is wearing Sponge Bob drawers! And they run!!!!!!!