François, a ten-year-old, abandoned child, was entrusted to the foster-care system. He lives with a host family in Lens in northern France: the Joignys who have a daughter, Josette. François usually gets into trouble and is even cruel to the family cat. Tired of his incontrollable behavior, the Joignys call the special educator and ask him to find a new home for François. François is then sent to live with an elderly couple, the Thierrys, the husband of which is a former resistance fighter and a retired miner. At "Gram and Pap's," François discovers a whole new family with a fifteen-year-old boy, Raoul, who is also a child of the French foster-car system. François seems to fit into this warm family. Yet once again, he commits new offenses, so he is sent to a rehabilitation center. The Thierrys receive a letter from him, in which he promises to do his best to return home for Christmas.