Mason Buttle is dyslexic, large, and extra sweaty, so he already struggles when it comes to seventh grade. But what’s worse is that his best friend died in a tragic (and mysterious) treehouse accident over a year ago—and the police officer still on the case believes Mason knows more than he’s telling. This big-hearted novel takes on the story of an underdog, neighborhood bullies, new friendships, self-reliance, and the triumph of standing up for oneself, while also unwinding the twisty truth of what really happened (as told by Mason Buttle). We loved Leslie Connor’s All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, and her new novel is just as poignant and memorable. Grades 5–8.— Tera
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 haven 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?
National Book Award Finalist * ALA Schneider Family Book Award * 2019 ALSC Notable Children’s Book * Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2018 * 2019-2020 Nebraska Golden Sower Award * Amazon Best Books of 2018 * Kirkus Best of Children's 2018 * New York Public Library Best Books 2018 * Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books 2018 * 2018 Nerdy Book Club Middle Grade Winner * South Carolina Junior Book Award Nominee * 2020 Colorado Children's Book Award Nominee
Leslie Connor is the author of several award-winning books for children, including Waiting for Normal, winner of the ALA Schneider Family Book Award, Crunch, Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel, and Dead on Town Line, a young adult novel in verse. She lives with her family in Connecticut.