In the late 1950s, Victory Povich, the Hearing daughter of a Deaf mother, is a young Jewish teenager floundering in school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Victory's father, a Hearing man, has recently passed away, leaving Victory and her mother Esther almost destitute. To make matters worse, because Esther signs, she must now depend on Victory to translate. Victory translates for her own convenience and fails to tell her mother when she is in trouble at school. Some of Victory's omissions lead to hilarious episodes, while others lead to her being the brunt of bullies, and a serious entanglement with the law occurs when Victory finds herself caught up in the burgeoning civil rights movement. Her father's illness--and the persecution that Victory suffers, not only from being Jewish, but also from being the daughter of a Deaf woman--causes her to retreat into the world of books and imagination where she pretends she's Nancy Drew, solving complex mysteries. Now Victory and her mother must find a way to survive when the whole world seems to be against them through no fault of their own.