In this delightful companion piece to The Wednesday Wars , we get to know Doug Swieteck a little bit better. His dad moves the family to upstate New York for a better job opportunity. What's good for dad is lousy for the rest of the family. Doug tries to make the best of living in The Dump as he calls it. The story like all Schmidt novels is slow to start out, but the payoff is worth it! Doug meets a local librarian who gives him drawing lessons by using the sketches in the Audubon book. He tries to keep his mom's spirits up as she worries about her eldest son who has been wounded in Vietnam. All the excitement of the Space Race is evident. The small town feel is excellently presented, as are the supporting cast of characters to make this an appealing historical fiction book. The Audubon reproductions that begin each chapter are nice as well.