Schmidt’s stand alone companion to the award-winning THE WEDNESDAY WARS focuses on Doug Swieteck who has moved with his family to upstate New York. Set in 1968 against the background of the Apollo Moon Mission, Joe Pepitone and the New York Yankees, and the Vietnam War, Doug is facing a difficult and abusive situation with a father who beats him, a brother accused of robbery, and another brother home from Vietnam with both external and internal scars. Enter Lil Spicer, a missing Audubon print, and a summer job delivering groceries to some really strange customers, and you have the blueprint for a fantastic coming-of-age novel with a little bit of everything-- family problems, first romance, mystery, history-- told in a compelling manner by the exceptional Gary Schmidt. Doug, a small, skinny boy considered a thug by his teachers and the town police, is a sympathetic, well-developed character, as is Liz who becomes his best friend and mentor. The book is a great novel for both boys and girls.
Use this book in the classroom for a unit on the 1960s.
The book would also be a good bibliotherapy book for kids in abusive situations or with difficult home lives.
Other books by Gary Schmidt:
LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY. ISBN 9780375841699
TROUBLE. ISBN 9780547331331
THE WEDNESDAY WAR. ISBN 9780547237602
Other books set in the 1960s:
Kadahota, Cynthia. CRACKER: THE BEST DOG IN VIETNAM. ISBN 9781416906377
Lai, Thanhha. INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN. ISBN 978006196273
By Janet Hilbun