"Soon after first-grader Asa is told of his parents' impending divorce, he is abruptly introduced to Dave, his stepfather-to-be. Dave does not like the boy, who's smart and precocious, sometimes obnoxiously so. His mother, who becomes increasingly depressed, objects only mildly to her new husband's negative attitude toward her son. When Asa is about 12, his mother has an emotional breakdown and divorces again. Ironically, Asa and Dave have gradually reached an understanding of sorts. By the end, Asa has learned to accept life's hard knocks.... A boy's coming-of-age story set within a troubled stepfamily is a worthy endeavor, and Brooks is extremely skilled in describing psychological subtleties of thoughts, feelings, and relationships." (School Library Journal)
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