As the Great Depression grips St. Louis, Stanley, an orphaned newsie, lives in a poor part of town hit especially hard by the economic downturn.
Hazel, a restless debutante-in-waiting, has begun to question her posh lifestyle in the midst of the suffering she sees around her.
One night, Hazel sneaks out against her father’s wishes, and her path collides with Stanley’s when they discover the body of a murdered girl. Their very different realities inform how they react, but together, they will piece together the clues and bring those responsible to justice.
Becoming involved with each other and digging into the secrets behind the murder earns them some powerful enemies, including a secret group organizing “The Winnowing,” a plan to take over the city and rid society of those they deem undesirable.
As Stanley and Hazel’s forbidden feelings for one another grow, their investigation turns deadly. Now, it is up to Stanley and his gang of street kids to stop Hazel from becoming the next victim.