Nate Tanner is a rich boy whose family owns coal mines near Hazleton, Pennsylvania. He has everything a kid could want or need - except a friend. Then he meets Johnny, an easygoing Polish American boy who works sorting coal in a filthy, dark building called a breaker. Unaware that Nate is the boss's son, Johnny invites him to play baseball with the breaker boys. As the summer of 1897 progresses, Nate finds himself piling lie on top of lie to keep his identity secret from Johnny, and the friendship secret from his family. In the patch town where the mining families live, Nate confronts disturbing realities; back at home, he learns of his family's fears about the future. Meanwhile, the miners are joining a labor union to challenge the owners - and the owners are trying to stop a strike. As Nate's moment of truth draws near, so does a violent confrontation that will alter coal country lives forever. Originally published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, now in paperback for the first time, "The Breaker Boys" explores both sides of a timeless issue through a nuanced portrayal of both immigrant laborers and the coal-mine owners who employed them.