Nothing ever happens in Toby's small Texas town. Nothing much, that is, until this summer.
This summer, everyone seems to be leaving. Thirteen-year-old Toby's mother leaves home to be a country singer. His best friend Cal's older brother goes off to fight in Vietnam. But their sleepy town is about to get a jolt with the arrival of Zachary Beaver, billed as the fattest boy in the world, who lives in a camping trailer. There has never been anyone like Zachary. Toby is enthralled with him and his tales of the people and places he's known. In fact, Toby realizes, there's a lot this town has never seen. Toby knows there's more to Zachary than the stories he tells, and he wants to know the boy behind the billing. Toby is in for a summer unlike any other, a summer sure to change his life.