Josh and Bart had noticed they had some rather strange abilities since they were young. Now, in their later teens, they had found another neighbor, Maud, had some strange talents as well. Josh wondered if the remaining person born during the same time, Helen Abrams, had any similar abilities?
He had already devised a theory to account for their oddness. They get Helen alone and reveal their talents to her and she confesses a shocking talent of her own.
Unknown to the group of four, someone has witnessed the display. But Miss Lawrence, their teacher, is not about to blow the whistle on them. She is more interested in helping them develop their gifts. She tells their parents she is forming a "reading club" for the summer.
They practice out of town, far from prying eyes, learning the depth of the talents and how they can control their usage. And then they encounter two boys from a neighboring town exhibiting similar strange abilities.
Having to reformulate the theory of their advent, they extend their search to outlying towns and discover only a handful of others with rare abilities. The reading group grows. To belay suspicions, they call themselves a ball team.
Still not understanding what their abilities are for, a schism forms as some of the members think the situation makes them somehow better than normal people and they naturally think they should be running the show.
The remainder of the group find their purpose in stopping the power-hungry from their bid of "running the world".