Many years ago, three sixth graders at a certain Texas school attempted to climb a brick wall up to the gym roof. They all failed, including Claire. However, Claire succeeded on other levels, including being fastest runner in Mr. Ricardo's class, having the most enemies in the sixth grade, and receiving the longest morning detention ever given to a student. After leaving Texas, Claire gave up climbing, and now spends her time hiking and writing in Portland, Oregon.
After sixth-grader Arnie Waxman ends up snagged by his underwear, dangling from The Wall of Doom, everything he does to restore his reputation backfires. He is left friendless, in the principal's office, and the target of the class bully. Arnie hatches a bold plan, one that could either end in triumph or misery, but it's his only hope of finishing sixth grade with an ounce of dignity.