17 year old Moss Trawnley's dreams of becoming a radio engineer are shattered as he unexpectedly becomes unemployed in the midst of the Great Depression. Desperately needing to help support his family, Moss decides to sign up for a six month "hitch" with President Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC).
The characters, especially Moss, have very strong morals and adhere to them. Some minor characters lie to make themselves appear superior or to get other characters in trouble. The scheming characters are always discovered, though, and punished.
The author never explicitly says that the characters are Christian and there isn't any mention of God from what I can recall. The main characters are all very wholesome, though, with strong morals. The source of those morals is never explicitly discussed.
A few fistfights when Moss first enters the CCC, but they aren't brutal.
Drug and Alcohol Content
Moss' father is an alcoholic and appears drunk in two short scenes, though it is not graphically described. Moss also enters a bar to retrieve his father. Whiskey is mentioned as a way to cure a cold and is consumed in small quantities for this purpose.
Moss has a girlfriend. Though she only appears once, she is mentioned throughout the book. Their relationship is very chaste. Moss develops a small crush on a local girl while at the CCC, but it soon passes. Some of the young men talk about girls in passing (non-descriptively). Mention is made of one of the characters buying sodas for and being friendly with a group of local girls in a nearby town.
Crude or Profane Language or Content
There is some mean spirited name-calling, but it is far from being grossly offensive or appalling. There isn't any swearing from what I can recall. One of the characters speaks disrespectfully to his father out of frustration, but they make up.
The author is an exceptional storyteller. She is able to weave a topic few people know about into an interesting story with extremely likable characters. Moss' character development throughout the novel is amazing and his strong morals are an excellent example of upstanding behavior.