In the summer of 1961, black and white Freedom Riders from all over the U.S. converged on Jackson, Mississippi in a campaign to force the desegregation of public transportation and public facilities. Buses were burned. Some Riders were beaten almost to death. They were jailed by the hundreds, and they rocked the conscience of the nation. In this compelling coming-of-age novel, when the first Freedom Ride rolls into Jackson, one Mississippi white boy, Tommy Jackson, is watching and waiting. His young life was already turned upside down by the arrival of rock and roll and by his first-hand exposure to the racial violence that ruled his hometown. When he sees the Freedom Riders, he stops being a silent witness and takes action, hoping to redeem his guilty conscience and join a community of like-minded souls. Instead he finds there is no escaping the past. White Boy depicts the world seen in the 2009 best-seller, The Help, but from a grittier working-class perspective.