Harper/HarperCollins/. May 2022. 368p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062985682.
Gr 5 Up–Jack Bailey became a hero to Danny Timmons the day he dove into floodwaters to save two girls while the adults stood by and watched. That was three years ago, but a lot has changed in that time. It’s now 1943, and Danny’s father is off fighting in the war, his pregnant mother is editing the local newspaper, a Black family has had to move away from town, and another family is being treated badly because of their son’s desertion. One thing that hasn’t changed is the bullying Danny has faced at the hands of a classmate. When 15-year-old Jack defends Danny, his hero status grows in Danny’s eyes, and the two become friends of sorts. They share a paper route, go fishing, and Jack tells Danny of a magical place called Yonder. Then Jack disappears. Danny is determined to find out what happened to him—even if it means putting himself in the sights of Jack’s abusive father to do so. Danny’s quest to discover what happened to Jack opens his eyes to the bullying and prejudice all around him and make him question what it means to be brave, and what really makes a hero.
VERDICT This is a quiet yet powerful, story told through flashbacks over the span of several years. Recommended for general purchase.

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