Jerry stands up to the hotheaded authorities and privileged rich-kids at a Catholic school for boys. And he gets beaten up for it. End.
The reason this book matters is because so much psychology is put into each of the characters for doing what they do. Everyone is filled with hidden intentions and is vying for position. Most of this book--just like any of Cormier's books--are examinations of the minds of the characters, with very little plot. That's cool, heavy, and maybe overdone to the point of self-praise. I dunno.
While the boy's view of women is skewed and bawdy, it depicts teenage boys so accurately that it couldn't help but resonate with me. I don't think it's right, but it's real. Is there value to that? Maybe not. I don't think this book is GREAT, but for some reason I think people should read it.