Percy Goodchild's teacher makes him stand in the waste paper basket, the school bully beats him up and, on top of that, he's got a reading problem. Every time Percy opens a book, the letters jump off the page.
If he can find a mysterious black box, it will pay for an eye test, and in his search he meets some totally weird characters (including a skeleton on stilts and a bear in a wheelchair) who set him puzzles.
A one-eyed talking crow helps him to solve those puzzles. But what is the crow going to do about Percy's teacher and the school bully?