As an Air Force brat, moves were second nature to me. This was my seventh move in fifteen years, and I knew the drill. Usually it was no big deal. But this one was different.”
Stu and his mom are heading to Minot, North Dakota, where she will assume command of the Air Force base. But this time it will be just the two of them. His brother is away at college, and their father has abruptly decided to move to Nevada.
With his family now scattered and his mother preoccupied with military duties, Stu finds himself caught between a respect for the regimented life of the military and an aching desire for independence and freedom. As he struggles to find his way, he gets pulled into his neighbors’ dysfunctional family drama and becomes an unwitting participant. When tragedy finally strikes, Stu must come to terms with his own culpability.
Award-winning author S. L. Rottman has crafted an absorbing young adult novel that powerfully depicts the emotional turbulence of teenage life and the difficulty of negotiating complex human relationships.
“The tale is mostly plot-driven, the best aspect being the portrayal of the effects of deployment on military families. Timely.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“The story offers both a realistic interpretation of teenage life on an Air Force base and the teen’s feeling of powerlessness upon witnessing child abuse―both physical and verbal―in action.” ―School Library Journal
“With thought-provoking sensitivity, Rottman explores the universal challenges that comes with facing hard choices and navigating relationships in all areas of life.” ―Booklist
“This is one of those powerful novels encouraging young teens to stand up for what is right, even if they are standing alone…an eye-opening novel.” ―Herald-Citizen
“Very well written book and great dialog. A good mystery that will keep any reader flipping pages to see what happens next…Very well written with great detail. The characters were so descriptive it felt like you were one of them. A very good book for any reader.” ―YALSA, YA Galley Teen Review
Heartland Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature (Nominee) ―The Writing Conference, Inc. (in connection with University of Kansas), 2011
Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Top Pick, Senior High) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2010
North Carolina Children’s Book Award (Nominee, Junior Book Category) ―North Carolina Reading Association, 2011
Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (Honor Book, Language Arts 7-12 Novels) ―Society of School Librarians International, 2010
AR Level: 4.3
F&P: Z+, Gr 9 & up, Genre RF
Themes: Child Abuse, Family, Military
BISAC 1: YAF058260 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Values & Virtues
BISAC 2: YAF058170 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Physical & Emotional Abuse
BISAC 3: YAF018000 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Family / General