Almost twelve, and still plagued by baby fat, Bones Cluett wants a Black Panther (a type of English bike) enough to shine shoes, go on a diet, and enter a cooking contest in an effort to earn twenty dollars. The day after Bones has proudly ridden the new bike home, it is stolen. At a party, a few days later, Bones makes friends with the class misfit, Whitey, who lives with his grandmother. Through Whitey, he finds the stolen bike, and becomes involved in an exciting adventure of tops and robbers. In spite of the lack of character development and of originality in plot, this simple story comes close enough for identification and enjoyment by younger members of this age group.