Preview. In 1965, Grade 8 students learn to stick with their dreams. Narrator Andy (Chase Ellison) finds out a writer is "what I am". Popular English teacher Mr Simon (Ed Harris) pairs him with geek Big G (Alexander Walters) for their big project. Stanley - ginger-haired, big-eared - stands a foot taller than all, defends his fellow geeks, especially his best friend, the smallest student Norman (Daniel Yelsky), with dignity against bullies.
Andy learns tolerance, compassion, and resolve while pursuing his crush, the womanly ideal Mary (Mia Rose Frampton), a more experienced kisser willing to share her knowledge. Adults are drawn as individuals, larger than stereotypes: kind mother (Molly Parker), computer-literate father (Daniel Roebuck), concerned principal (Amy Madigan) who begs Mr. Simon to deny career-crushing rumor from a bully's parents.