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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • susan
  • Port Perry, ON, Canada
  • 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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loved it!

very good! we drove to Kentucky for the eclipse (24 hour drive) and listened on the way home. very good book! reader was awesome!

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Made me cry

This book was so good and so heart touching it made me cry, this book was for summer reading for my school and I'm so happy it was 10/10 recommend this book

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Great

Loved it, the narrator really seemed like he was Doug. Hoppe did a great job.

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jw

I love this book!
it is uplifting and thought pricing about how we need to be treating each other.

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Excellent story excellent performance

This book has become 9ne of my favorites simply for the characters Doug grows through this book but so do I every time I read it.

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my students love this book! such a great story!!!!

my 5th graders love hearing Doug's story! such a great novel for character development and thematic discourse!

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Spectacular!

Absolutely loved it! Recommend it after The Wednesday Wars! A must read! I am definitely going to be reading this with my class next year!

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Amazing - sad and funny.

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 .

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Best book ever.

The author must be a genius. I mean, it is so inspiring. BEST BOOK EVER!

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