But Trouble comes careening down the road one night in the form of a pick-up truck that strikes Henry's older brother, Franklin.
In the truck is Chay Chouan, a young Cambodian from Franklin's preparatory school. The tragedy sparks racial tensions in the school - and in the town where Henry's family has lived for generations.
Caught between anger and grief, Henry does the only thing he feels he can: he sets off for Mt. Katahdin, which he and Franklin had planned to climb together. One July morning, he leaves for Maine with his best friend and the loveable stray, Black Dog, in tow. But when they encounter Chay Chouan on the road, fleeing demons of his own, Henry learns that turning a blind eye to Trouble only brings Trouble closer.
With moments of humor, tenderness, and remarkable strength, Henry and Chay travel a path to the mountain that neither of them expects.
©2008 Gary D. Schmidt; (P)2008 Scholastic Inc.
"Contains Schmidt's eloquent language and compelling characters as well as compassionate examinations of the passage from childhood to adulthood." (School Library Journal)
"Tautly constructed, metaphorically rich, emotionally gripping and seductively told." (Publishers Weekly)
"A deeply moving and pleasurable read." (Kirkus Reviews)
Characters in this story make important journeys--individually and together--through inner landscapes of personal meaning and a social topography that includes racism, xenophobia, economic inequality and the awkwardness of adolescence. This novel is rich and meaningful, although some of the issues related to racism were presented in a stilted and stereotypical manner.
Regardless, each main character faced his/her inner self in the light of disturbing life events and emerged changed, and no longer living in isolation but in community.
This is an excellent book and is well worth a listen.
Number 1. I loved this book. I've listened to at least 40 audiobooks and this is still my favorite. It's easy to listen to, pick up any time and not lose your place and it's a feel good book. I wish there were more like it.
When the boy rescued the dog.
I absolutely loved The Wednesday Wars, but this book seems 180 degrees from that in both spirit and narration. It was read in a wooden tone that plodded. Less than an hour in, a dog nearly drowns, is rescued by the protaganist and then brought to his home where it is kicked violently by the father.
I assume from the good reviews that there is redemption eventually, but I couldn't get that far. I'm not squeamish, but this was just too much of a feel-bad story for me to want to continue.
Possibly...this had my interest in and out
If the character development were better
Overall a pretty good book, I wish I had learned even more about Jay.
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