When Pearl Washington must complete her family tree assignment for school, she is forced to face the pain of having a fatherless childhood. She feels ashamed and alienated, because unlike the other children in her class, half of her family tree is completely empty. Pearl’s father has never taken part in her life, because he has another family, two sons and a wife. Unlike her other classmates, whose lives represent the ideal childhood, with pets, large houses, siblings, and both parents — Pearl must learn to be independent and alone. Her single mother spends long nights working to afford their small apartment and make ends meet. After an ambitious and courageous search for her father, Pearl locates him and attempts to reconnect. In a wonderful twist of fate, Pearl’s father finally agrees to meet with her for the first time. Pearl is excited to meet her father, learn more about herself and her heritage, and fill out her family tree just in time for the assignment due date. Unfortunately, the meeting doesn’t go according to plan, leading Pearl to discover the true definition of family and who she really is.