Bill Sackter struggles to cope after his best friend and guardian, Barry Morrow and his wife Beverly move away. Bill moves into a group home run by Mae Driscoll who teaches him how to read. Bill soon discovers his religious heritage, overcoming the fire that accidentally destroyed his small canteen business, and then travels to California to search for the Morrows.
The story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgy worker at a plutonium processing plant who was purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing blatant worker safety violations at the plant.
When two poor greasers, Johnny, and Ponyboy are assaulted by a vicious gang, the socs, and Johnny kills one of the attackers, tension begins to mount between the two rival gangs, setting off a turbulent chain of events.