An unemployed immigrant and seven children live in a condemned house in a suburb of Vitry. They survive on government grants and charitable handouts. The children are not sent to school but instead wander through the town. Then one summer the eldest, Ernesto, is given a book.
He doesn't know how old he is (except that he's somewhere between twelve and twenty). All he knows is his own name. Yet. somehow, he 'understands' the book.