12-year-old Paul Fisher, who plays soccer despite a mysterious eye injury believed to have been caused by viewing an eclipse for too long has recently moved to Florida after his father takes a job in civil engineering. However, unlike his brother Erik, a high-school football star, Paul is unable to fit in with the new environment. Although he befriends Joey Costello, brother of Erik's fellow team-mate Mike Costello, he struggles to fit in his new school, Lake Windsor Middle. Even his interest in soccer is deflated, after he is disallowed his right to play due to an insurance policy relating to his eyesight.
However, when Mike is killed due to a lighting strike during football practice, Paul learns through Joey to take control into his own hands, and after Lake Windsor Middle is partially destroyed because of a giant sinkhole, he jumps on the opportunity to move to Tangerine Middle in order to play soccer. Within days of his arrival, he meets Theresa Cruz, who guides him early on, and the soccer team itself-an assortment of people quite unlike any team he had played for. Victor Guzman and Tino Cruz are both intimidating tough guys, who are regularly suspended from school, but they let Paul settle in within their group, and Tino even allows Paul to join his group for a social science project.
One of the main characters introduced at that time is Luis Cruz, brother of Tino and Theresa Cruz. Luis is friendly to Paul whenever he heads over to the Cruzs' citrus plantation, and along with that, the Tangerine Middle School team manage to win the title in a game against Lake Windsor Middle, his former school.
But some strange things are going on in Paul's neighborhood. First, termites are taking over several houses on...