There is the secret of Birdy's grandmother's cat. How the boys tortured it and Birdy had to drown it in the river. There's the secret of Mrs. Cope, the popular teacher who took advantage of Birdy. And the secret of the gypsy girl at school who Birdy likes, but can't talk about. Because Birdy's other secret is that while she fights as good as the boys, she is a girl.
In this funny and sad portrayal of a young person growing up in an imperfect family, every reader will recognise in Birdy their own struggle to find their place in the world.