Emmett McHomes, the clumsy, overgrown, dyslexic fifth grader, is having a tough year at St. Ignatius Middle School. The girls laugh at him. The cool kids pick on him. His only two friends are the nerd and the fat kid. Even the nuns who teach him suspect that his soul was stolen by the devil. And, on top of all this, Sister Mary Moody has told him that he will flunk fifth grade if he does not act more mature, make some friends, and improve his studies. Armed only with wild ideas and tumultuous stories, he strives for acceptance and even respect from his classmates, family, and a ghost he meets in the attic of the school.