A trio of high school outcasts – Paul, Big, and Small – face the complicated world of predators and prey in high school and come to realize that overcoming life’s challenges will take more than perseverance.
Paul Adams is the shortest kid at his high school, and the school bullies relentlessly pick on him. He spends the entire day wishing school would end so he can escape to his favorite sport of rock climbing. This is the only place where he feels in control, competent, and free, despite the inherent fear.
Lily Small is athletic, attractive, and, despite her last name, is actually very tall. Another kid, who looks almost like a grown man, introduces himself with a long Polynesian name, but says everyone calls him “Big,” and he seems to like the nickname! As they get to know each other, Paul, Big, and Small discover they have a lot in common as outsiders in their high school. As the trio’s friendship forms, their unique personalities are no longer those of misfits, but complement each other.
Paul and Lily decide to enter a local competition for climbers, but their plans are abruptly halted by Lily’s diagnosis of leukemia. Paul is terrified of what lies ahead in Lily’s medical treatment, knowing what happened to his mother who died of cancer a few short years before. He retreats back to rabbit mode and can’t even visit her in the hospital. But Lily really wants Paul to go ahead with the competition and advises him to team up with Conor, the student who bullies Paul the most. Reluctantly, Paul agrees to move ahead with Lily’s wish, knowing that Conor is a strong climber and their best chance at winning.