Doug doesn’t want to move from New York to Marysville, but he figures it won’t change much. He’ll still have a mean older brother to beat him up. He’ll still have an even meaner father, and his oldest brother will still be in Vietnam. But, something strange happens in Marysville. From the time that Doug discovers Audubon’s Birds of America at the local library, Doug begins to make connections with the citizens of Marysville that bring changes to Doug’s life that he never predicted.
Schmidt, the acclaimed author of The Wednesday Wars and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, perfectly captures Doug’s teen voice, presenting the discouraging truth of his life as well as the unexpected insights and joys Doug finds. This story delves deep into family troubles and community double standards, but in the end, it affirms both family and community ties. Schmidt highlights the importance of doing what is good in the face of disbelief, whether anyone expects it of you. . .or gives you credit for it.
Reviewed by Melendra