Set during the Vietnam War, it tells the story of Holling Hoodhood and how his teacher tortures him with Shakespeare.
This summer, I read the companion to this book, Okay for Now. Doug Swieteck, one of Holling's friends, has to move away from Long Island to a small town for his dad's job. There are several different strains of Doug's story, from the girl Lil, to Principal Peattie (who always refers to himself in the third person), to the playwright, to his brother Lucas who comes home from the war different, to Audubon's birds.
What I like so much about these two books is how sweet they are, how innocent but not the main characters are. Schmidt has you laughing out loud, then you turn the page and you're crying, then you're laughing again. Then you are crying and laughing at the same time. The emotions are real.
Read these books. They are fantastic.