In 1854, orphaned, seventeen-year-old Pencil mastered survival in the Five Points of Lower Manhattan. As a lieutenant of a pack of “street rats”, he chafes under the control of adult scoundrels, who call him a “hobbadehoy”—someone no longer a boy, yet not a man. Trust is a luxury he doesn’t possess. Through a treacherous turn of events, he’s shipped off to Ohio where he must adjust while relying on his street smarts to overcome bias and a domineering guardian. Living in a divided society, he grapples with the right and wrong of issues far removed from his pickpocket touches back in New York City. He learns that trust is an invisible track on which he has to discern where the good or bad lies within each person he meets.