Maks is selling newspapers. This is his job as a newsie. He sells The World paper. He has to be aware of the street gang that is always beating newsies up.
Maks gets chased by the gang into an alley where Willa, a girl with a stick, beats them off.
Maks brings Willa home and cleans her up after discovering she has no parents. Mak's mother tells him that his sister has been accused of stealing a watch and is in prison.
Maks asks a detective to help teach him how to find evidence for his sister. Maks learns that he needs to work at the hotel where his sister worked to find the actual thief.
While Maks is finding evidence for his sister Willa gets kidnapped by the gang and taken to their secret base. Maks finds all the newsies and takes them to go and finally get revenge on everything that the gang has done. An accidental fire even occurs at the fight. The newsies bring quit a an army in numbers and defeat the gang in their own base. Maks gets Willa back and defeats the gang.
While Maks and Willa are at the hotel Bruno comes in very mad and attacks a guy named Brunswick. He attacks him because that was the guy who threatened Bruno if he did not beat up newsies. At the end it ends up that Brunswick had also stolen the watch at the hotel and framed Maks' sister.