Joe Riley has to be a little creative to make pocket money in his rough and tumble neighbourhood of Glebe. He's watched his dad keep ahead of the law and he's sure that he can too, gambling on billycart races and selling farm-fresh eggs from his uncle's chook farm. But when his parents send him off to St Bartholomew's - a Catholic boarding school on the other side of the harbour - Joe's carefree existence is a thing of the past. Homesick and lonely, Joe meets the darker side of human nature and finds himself at odds with the school, especially Brother Felix. Expelled from St Bart's, Joe is sent to a reform school on the south coast known as The Farm. Life is tough there for a boy from the city, but it's through working the land and tending the animals that Joe finds inner strength and peace, and rediscovers the thrill of true freedom.