About this item

A 2018 National Book Award Finalist!

From the critically acclaimed author of Waiting for Normal and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Leslie Connor, comes a deeply poignant and beautifully crafted story about self-reliance, redemption, and hope.

Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason's learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason's best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family's orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can't understand why Lieutenant Baird won't believe the story Mason has told about that day.

Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He's desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny.

But will anyone believe him?



About the Author

Leslie Connor

From the author's website:My life began suddenly (you can even ask my mother) in an antique farmhouse outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I was born right on the family room floor ~ no time to get to the hospital! I swear, I've been in a hurry ever since. When I was in fourth grade we moved to a neighborhood full of kids outside of Schenectady, New York. My Dad worked for a company that sold some of the finest printing papers in all the land. He often brought home big, beautiful, heavy books that pinned me to my chair when I held them in my lap, and I loved to turn the pages, look at the photography and illustrations and smell the ink. As a kid I took dancing lessons and did gymnastics. I could be found upside-down in odd places like the middle of the stairway, not that I recommend it! My bedroom was a messy nest full of paint sets and paper scraps, embroidery threads and sewing projects. In school I was good at some things and not at all good at others. Still, I found my passions. I went to college, first at SUNY, Cobleskill, where I received an associate's degree in agriculture, and later at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Ct. where I earned a bachelor's degree in fine art. At first, I was interested in children's books from an illustrator's point of view. But the writing part surprised me ~ came up from behind and tapped me on the shoulder. I realized that my head and heart were very full of stories and that I should pay attention! My ideas come from everyday life, and I write for readers of all ages. I live in the Connecticut woods with my husband and three children. (Well, the kids are getting big and they all drive cars now so they come and go a lot these days. ) We keep our bird feeders full, do a little gardening and stack a lot of firewood. I hike the trails near my home almost every morning. Then I make a pot of tea and get to work. Usually, my loyal Writing Dogs are right by my side. (Sometimes I even borrow dogs from my neighbors. You can't have enough dogs.) I love making artisan pizzas and pots of soup and my favorite treat is dark chocolate. I also love to ride my bike down to the diner to meet my friends for breakfast and more tea. (Hmm...that's a lot of eating, isn't it?) Life is fine!



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