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Publisher's Summary

As a 14-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. So begins a coming-of-age masterwork full of equal parts comedy and tragedy from Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt.
As Doug struggles to be more than the skinny thug that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer, a fiery young lady who smelled like daisies would smell if they were growing in a big field under a clearing sky after a rain. In Lil, Doug finds the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a whole town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubons birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage.
In this stunning novel, Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival.
©2011 Gary D. Schmidt (P)2011 Listening Library
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Customer Reviews

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By susan on 04-17-14

Life is good even when its not...

Loved Schmidt's book Wednesday's Wars and was not disappointed in this book which continues the life of the main character's best friend.

Book is intended for teens - but crosses the adult divide and makes for a nice lite listen. Lincoln is a great reader and perfect match for the central character.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Jeremy G. on 11-09-17

Longer than it needs to be, but a good story.

A good story, but not really one you get "hooked on". The narrator does a good job.

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