A five boy unit in southwest Los Angeles in 1918 makes its course through common experiences and individual crises through the high school years. The same age, the same neighborhood, the same school are the ties for Billy Leight, Bob Halloran, George Merganser, Earle Norlund and Eddie Defoe, and their unity grows stronger through a bicycle trip, summer jobs, tentative sex, cars, school politics; Eddie has to go to work when his father dies and Earle, after a reform school sentence, is still not able to go straight, is crippled and suicides. Bob, George and Billy make their way with increasing indications of the kind of man each will be, through to graduation. An unpolished telling recalls the tribal customs of the boys' world and their times-and places adolescence within a period. Without distinction.