Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Wayne Kovak is having a hard year.  School is difficult for him anyway since he tends to freeze up in social situations.   He spouts facts to fill the silence and to steer away from uncomfortable topics.

When his uncle dies on active duty in the military, he is buried in Arlington cemetery.  On the way home from the funeral, Wayne and his mom are in a plane crash that leaves them both injured.  Wayne was struck in the neck by flying debris, and his vocal chords are so swollen, he can't talk or eat solid food.  He also has a large L-shaped scar on his face.  Great.  Now, he's branded a loser for real.

His uncle's burial flag is lost in the crash, and Wayne is determined to find it.  He knows if he can just get the right data, he can locate the lost flag.

His grandfather moves in to help take care of them, but Wayne soon realizes something is going on with him.  He's sick, but no one is talking about it.  Wayne has always struggled to connect with his drill sergeant grandfather, and now he can only communicate by paper, so that isn't helping.

There's also his father, AKA The Flee.  He always promises to show up and never follows through.  Wayne is beginning to wonder if his father cares about him at all.

There's also his sort-of-girlfriend, Sandy Showalter, the most beautiful girl in the 7th grade, and his new friend, Denny, who he met at speech therapy.  Denny has a stutter that goes away when he whispers or sings, so all of their conversations are interesting, to say the least.

Karen Harrington's new book is heartbreaking and laugh-out-loud funny by turns.  Highly recommended!

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