Twelve-year-old Dawnie Rae Johnson's life turns upside down after the Supreme Court rules in favor of desegregation in the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education. Her parents decide that Dawnie will attend Prettyman Coburn, a previously all-white school -- but she'll be the only one of her friends to enroll in this new school.
Not everyone in Dawnie's town of Hadley, Virginia, supports integration, though, and much of the community is outraged by the decision. As she starts school, Dawnie encounters the harsh realities of racism. But the backlash against her arrival at Prettyman Coburn is more than she's prepared for, and she begins to wonder if the hardship is worth it. Will Dawnie be able to hold on to the true meaning of justice and remain faithful to her own sense of integrity?