Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Doug's dad lost his job, so he's moving the family to a small town called Marysville, so he can start a new one. This means Doug has to start 8th grade in a new town with no friends. They move into "THE DUMP", a lousy little house that is filled with his dad's anger and the family's fear of what dad might do. This is why Doug has developed a bit of a wise guy attitude. The first person he meets, Lil Spicer, fortunately sees through his act, and she becomes his first friend.
The only place to go in stupid Marysville is the library. Here, Doug was looking for cool relief from the sweltering sun; what he found was a kind librarian and the biggest, most amazing drawing of a bird. It's a painting from John James Audubon's book, Birds of America. The discovery of this book, with help from the patient, yet persistent librarian, Doug finds a talent for drawing and composition. He also begins to find his place in the community when he discovers the value in himself. Other members in the community discover it too. Doug's straight forward narration takes you into the heart and mind of this memorable character.
Recommended for grades 5-8

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