Archie, the main character is a brave young man who must struggle through some great problems to rejoin his father. The story has good imagery of the streets and characters. At times there is a sense of hopelessness as the boy gets in so much trouble he doesn't know what to do. The kid has a heart of gold and manages to pull up his socks and get things done. My son read it and liked it,especially some of the quirky characters like Boogie. I read it, too and thinks its a pretty good read especially about life in the 60's. Shoeshine boys are hard to find these days but apparently used to be everywhere so its a bit of history, too. Archie is a fighter, a brave boy. I read the other book by this writer Ransom and liked it, too so I'm a fan now.