Summer 1952, and fourteen-year-old J.W. Valentine wishes the world and everyone in it would leave him alone. His life so far has not gone well. His defenses - anger and cleverness - have only gotten him in trouble. And now the state has sent him to a farm for rehabilitation, something he is determined to resist.
He finds in the nearby town resentment and suspicion and, out on the farm, Mac, a man who may know something of value, and Cassie, the girl who will haunt him for the rest of his life.
Amid the distrust, there is discovery, and through it, "J.W. Valentine" tells a moving story of love.