In 1965, The Circle, in Watts, Los Angeles, was a close-knit Black community, filled with its own particular joys and troubles. Set against the backdrop of racism and everyday police brutality, this vibrant neighborhood comes alive in Salmon Croquettes, as 12-year-old Zayla Lucille McKinney grapples with the confusion of feeling like a boy trapped in a girl's body. Is she what the other girls call her, a "bulldagger"? And what does that even mean? In the midst of her transformation from tomboy to young woman, the community she loves explodes in a racial uprising. The Watts Riots teach Zayla the fragility of life and the importance of friendship. As the embers die down and the smoke clears, Zayla also learns something.