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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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.
my 5th graders love hearing Doug's story! such a great novel for character development and thematic discourse!
Taught it in my 7th grade classroom. My students loved it. We played most of the book in class as kids followed along and surprisingly, they didn't complain about the narrator. Lincoln Hoppe does such a good job reading Doug .
Doug, the skinny thug, of course!
Doug again, though he does a great job with all of them
Oh wow I'm not creative enough for this question, but maybe something like: "A skinny thug's guide to surviving Junior High, and family."
I was so glad to see a follow on book to Schmidt's "Wednesday Wars" (Which is an absolutely perfect story and should be read by everyone!), and a lot of the same elements were present in this book. Just as in Wednesday Wars, the characters immediately come to life and you can't help but truly love, or completely despise, them. Schmidt writes with impeccable wit and charisma, and laughs come quickly and easily. This book had some darker and sadder elements than Wednesday Wars, and was a little more far-fetched in some of the resolutions. But over all it was a great listen and I wish I had more!
No, but I will be looking.
Very enjoyable. Loved all the characters. I found it very heart warming and a great reminder of the power of a single individual in the lives of others.
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