Fifth-grader Jake uses storytelling and a secret place in some hedges to help him and his younger sister escape their parents' arguments and his abusive and alcoholic father's temper.
Quietly beautiful, honest, and realistic. Jake is a great character and hero. Doesn't dillute the complexities and hardships of growing up with a learning disability, being poor, and having an abusive parent you still have affection for. While there's a lot of sadness in this book, it also manages to end hopefully without sugar-coating anything and compromising the integrity of the story and characters.