Pulled apart by his parents' increasingly troubled relationship, ten-year-old Marcus contracts a disease that is spread through the droppings of hordes of blackbirds which the agricultural authorities plan to destroy in a gruesome manner.
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berries Betsy Byars better Blackberry pie blackberrying blackbirds blinks chair chiggers Christmas closed cloud cold corn cornfields cornstalks cough Dad asked Dad loved Dad's dark dead birds Dobbs's door drop Eve Bunting eyes face fingers Flit Crockett Fred Johnson French toast give glass gone grackle Green guess gun barrel hands head hear heard histoplasmosis hung inside Joe Dobbs Joe Jr Joe Jr.'s Kelsey Kelsey's kill kitchen knew legs listen look loved Marcus Mom's morning mouth never night nodded pencil picked picture plane Poor Dad pretty probably pulling remembered Ridley Hills river roost rotten birds Sabrina screaming shooting silvertip smell smiled sound spray stand stared Stephen Gammell stethoscope stood stopped stuttering sure talk tell things thought told took trees truck unicorn voice walked wanted watching window wing Winter Claghorn wishbone x-rays Yo-Yo