Tom Canty is a poor boy in the London slums. His birth only brings more poverty to his already dirt poor family. Edward VI is the long awaited heir to the English throne. They are born on the same day and look so alike they can’t believe it. They exchange clothes and Edward VI ends up being thrown out of the palace by guards who think he is the poor boy he looks to be. Both boys have difficulty fitting into the other’s lives. After many adventures, matters are set right again, with one of the boys resuming his rightful, royal position and the other boy accepting a position that recognizes his innate intelligence and good heartedness.The bulk of the books is the mad life of the poor boy during which Edward VI learns how many of his subjects live. He resolves to change things if he can get back to the palace and be restored to his rightful place.