As a 14-year-old who just moved to upstate New York in 1968, with no friends and a louse for a brother, Doug Swieteck has all the cards stacked against him, in this novel for readers 10 to 14 by the author of the Newbery and Printz Honor Book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. 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"—and an unexpected haven in the local library, where he discovers John James Audubon's Birds of America.
"Readers will miss Doug and his world when they're done, and will feel richer for having experienced his engaging, tough, and endearing story."—School Library Journal (starred review)