Sixteen-year-old Gray Fallon's life is looking pretty good. His easygoing parents -- a university science professor and silkscreen artist -- are happy for him to entertain his friends in his suburban basement. A part-time job at the Cineplex, the occasional beer or joint, a smart, funny best friend, a hot new girlfriend -- things couldn't really be any better.
Then Gray's twelve-year-old science nerd sister, Maggie, is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Gray learns that the cancer may have environmental causes and sets out to uncover the cause and make Maggie better. His research reveals that silkscreen chemicals may be responsible for Maggie's illness. His mother's subsequent breakdown and father's anger finally drive him to quit school and seek haven at an organic farm. However, there is no escaping the reality of Maggie's illness, and the climax, written with wisdom, compassion and a complete lack of easy sentimentality, is a tour de force.