Author: Lisa Graff
Audience: Middle Reader, Grades 5 and up.
Publisher: Philomel Books
Everyone says that middle school is awful, but Trent knows nothing could be worse than the year he had in fifth grade, when a freak accident on Cedar Lake left one kid dead, and Trent with a brain full of terrible thoughts he can't get rid of. Trent’s pretty positive the entire disaster was his fault, so for him middle school feels like a fresh start, a chance to prove to everyone that he's not the horrible screw-up they seem to think he is.
If only Trent could make that fresh start happen.
It isn’t until Trent gets caught up in the whirlwind that is Fallon Little (the girl with the mysterious scar across her face) that things begin to change. Because fresh starts aren’t always easy. Even in baseball, when a fly ball gets lost in the sun, you have to remember to shift your position to find it.
Graff does an amazing job with this book. She takes a young boy who is tormented by a death he feels responsible for, and portrays his emotional agony perfectly within his preteen limitations. This anger and rage cause him to rebel and lash out at his family and friends. Although his parents, teachers, and a special friend try to help, it takes time for Trent to slowly learn to love others again and ultimately himself. It’s rare to find an emotionally charged book written from a boy’s perspective, and even more difficult within the genre of realistic fiction. This book is a rare gem and CAN and SHOULD be enjoyed by people of all ages.