By Audrey Couloumbis
Newberry Honor-award winner Audrey Couloumbis again shows her talent for creating unforgettable characters in a Vietnam War-era story that will resonate with contemporary readers.
During the summer of her thirteenth birthday, Grace’s brother torches his draft card. That draft card is pretty much Collin’s invitation to the Vietnam War, and he isn’t supposed to turn it down, much less burn it. When Daddy puts Collin’s belongings out on the porch and locks the door, Grace realizes her family has taken a turn down a road that could tear them all apart.
A Booksense pick
. . . expertly navigates the ebb and flow of a family drama in which hope proves to be made of “really tough stuff if it was still able to draw breath around here.” A strong Vietnam War-era and coming-of-age story. – Kirkus
. . . poignantly captures the tensions, uncertainties, and rifts caused by the Vietnam War. . .first-person, present-tense narrative conveys powerful emotions with the simplest of words. . . spare, strong writing aptly conveys a difficult time in America. – School Library Journal
. . .an individual voice, at once innocent and sassy. It’s clear that no matter how sad this story gets –and it does–it won’t get sentimental, the fault of many books for this age group. – Washington Post Book World
. . . a vivid, affecting cast of characters sifts through a family’s complex sorrow, anger, and love with incisive clarity and honesty: “I purely hated them all,” says Grace of her feuding family. The questions that Grace and her young cousins ask about the Vietnam War may help contemporary readers articulate their own concerns about war, patriotism, and personal morality. – from Booklist
. . . individuals made real through small details of character and their rough affection for one another. When a beloved uncle dies, Grace learns that life holds no guarantees but that, in the toughest times, “family was there to catch you.” – Horn Book
Nominated for Best Books for Young Adults, YALSA