Thirteen-year-old Phoebe Harte's younger brother, Mick, dies in a bicycle accident, because he chooses not to wear a helmet. This brings an incredible amount of grief and sorrow to the Harte family.
The book, narrated by Phoebe herself, shows the effect Mick's death has on his friends and schoolmates, and delves deeply into the grieving process experienced by Phoebe and her parents. The book delivers some of Phoebe's fondest memories of Mick—many of them relating the pranks that Mick enjoyed playing on his friends and family—in the form of anecdotes about when the two of them were younger.
According to Publishers Weekly , Park demonstrates a tremendous ability "to convey so affectingly both the individual and collective pain of this family's members." Park does this, not through melodrama, but rather through what Publishers Weekly calls a focus "on small moments", such as when Phoebe's father arrives home from the hospital and quietly closes the door to Mick's room.