The year is 1962. The family of fourteen-year-old Kevin Collins, caught in white flight, has moved from Beverly, its South Side of Chicago neighborhood, to the city’s northern suburbs. The field of Kevin’s most formative boyhood adventures was Ryan’s Woods, the great South Side forest preserve, mysterious, beautiful, running along the city’s western edge a full mile from 83rd Street to 91st. It now serves as the frame for his memories. Memories of a villain enemy, of games hard-fought as wars, of moments of fear or courage, of moments that transcend racial division, and of first love in all the pure strength of its innocence. Memories, still fresh, of best friendships that Kevin now feels will be forever unrecoverable. And memories especially of his greatest friend, Jackie Leonard, whose death at age thirteen has moved Kevin to turn memory into story.