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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Apr 5, 2011 - Juvenile Fiction - 368 pages
90 Reviews
2011 National Book Award Finalist

As a fourteen-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 Audubon’s 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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bell7 - LibraryThing

Doug Swieteck is doing just fine until his father loses his job and decides to move them to Marysville, New York. Stupid Marysville is a small town where Doug knows no one, and everyone expects him to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cheryl_in_CC_NV - LibraryThing

Read Emily May's review. I pretty much agree with her, but I think I found it a titch more melodramatic than she did. I also am not sure I find everything in it plausible, even if we consider this a ... Read full review

All 16 reviews »

Selected pages

Contents

1 The Arctic Tern
1
2 The RedThroated Diver
33
3 The LargeBilled Puffin
71
4 The BlackBacked Gull
109
5 The Yellow Shank
149
6 The Snowy Heron
187
7 The ForkedTailed Petrel
229
8 The Brown Pelican
261
9 The Great Esquimaux Curlew
291
10 The Arctic Tern
327
The Wednesday Wars
361
Educator Guide
23
Back Flap
27
Back Cover
28
Spine
29
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Gary D. Schmidt is the author of the Newbery Honor and Printz Honor book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. His most recent novel is The Wednesday Wars. He is a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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