National Book Award, Young People's Literature, 1999
Nothing ever happens in Toby's small Texas town. Nothing much, that is, until this summer, which is full of big changes.It's tough for Toby when his mother leaves home to become a country singer. And Toby takes it hard when his best friend Cal's older brother goes off to fight in Vietnam. But now their sleepy town is about to get an even bigger jolt with the arrival of Zachary Beaver, billed as the fattest boy in the world. Toby is in for a summer unlike any other, a summer sure to change his life.
"Holt...sets her heartwarming and carefully crafted novel during 1971, but her message of tolerance is one that contemporary readers will appreciate." (Publishers Weekly)
"Will Patton is exceptional in his narration. His voice is firm and sincere, with a deliberate slowness that gives import to the motif of watching and inevitable change. His pauses allow the listener to reflect on the story's events and the understandings and friendships that develop and deepen because of them. Don't miss this recording!" (AudioFile)
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