|SUMMARY: As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends, an abusive father, and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him until he finds an ally in Lil Spicer--a fiery young lady. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon's birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage.
REVIEW: This book is fabulously well-written. It catches your attention immediately and holds it through the end of the book. Your heart goes out to Doug, the main character, as well as the rest of his family, and stays with them from start to finish. You will laugh, cry, and most importantly, care about the Swieteck family. It touches on many difficult topics including an abusive father, a brother's struggle after returning from the Vietnam war, and Lil's cancer diagnosis. Despite the "stats" stacked against him, Doug throws himself into his drawings and grows with each sketch of Audubon's birds.
TEACHER NOTES: Definitely Young Adult Fiction, but could make a great Read-a-Loud.