Luther T. Farrell has got to get out of Flint, Michigan. As his best friend Sparky says, "Flint's nothing but the Titanic." And his mother, a.k.a. the Sarge, says, "Take my advice and stay off the sucker path." The Sarge milked the system to build an empire of slum housing and group homes. Luther's just one of the many people trapped in the Sarge's Evil Empire--but he's about to bust out. If Luther wins the science fair this year, he'll be on track for college and a future as America's best-known and best-loved philosopher. All he's got to do is beat his arch rival Shayla Patrick, the beautiful daughter of Flint's finest undertaker--and the love of Luther's life. Sparky's escape plans involve a pit bull named Poofy and the world's scariest rat. Oh, and Luther. Add to the mix Chester X., Luther's mysterious roommate; Dontay Gaddy, a lawyer whose phone number is 1-800-SUE'M ALL; and Darnell Dixon, the Sarge's go-to guy who knows how to break all the rules.
Deeply involved in his cold and manipulative mother's shady business dealings in Flint, Michigan, fourteen-year-old Luther keeps a sense of humor while running the Happy Neighbor Group Home For Men, all the while dreaming of going to college and becoming a philosopher.