Nine-year-old Thelonious Monk DeCay lives in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward with his grandmother. His mother dead and his father missing, Monk is determined to find his father.
With their harmonicas and bottle-cap taps, Monk and his best friend entertain the tourists in Jackson Square under the watchful eyes of eccentric historian Quinton Toussaint, who knows where to find Monk’s father.
Hurricane Katrina changes everything. Left homeless and alone after the storm, Monk befriends a deranged man and survives by sneaking across the rooftops and courtyards of the French Quarter, stealing food and supplies while hiding from both a murderer and the police.
In the midst of the storm and its aftermath, a woman Monk has never met appears in New Orleans with answers to his questions about his long-lost father.