I SO loved this book. The voice, the story, and the many quirks and gags really worked for me and held my interest. Sam is so lovable, and his wants—his mission in life—were so clear as were his fears and concerns. Smith really lets us get into Sam’s mind and heart, whether we are in the well or in 8th grade with him. And he does so with humor and heart. The unfolding of Sam’s relationship with antagonist, James Jenkins, is especially well done. I loved the way their stories merged and mirrored one another.
No offense to Grasshopper Jungle — one of Smith’s many books that I absolutely adore — but this one has now become my favorite of his masterful and impressive body of work. I can’t imagine a parent, teacher or teen who wouldn’t be entertained by this novel or have something to talk about (especially about growing up) after reading it. I wish I could give it 6 stars. I really loved it!
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