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Author: Reedy, Trent
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine/ Scholastic
Year Published: 2014
ISBN: 9780545433426

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Author Trent Reedy served in the Iowa National Guard for six years, including a year’s tour of duty in Afghanistan, and draws on his military experience to tell a heartfelt story of a family devastated by the death of their soldier father killed in mysterious circumstances. For a responsible sixteen-year-old, Michael Wilson has a lot of problems – his father was killed in Afghanistan when he was eight, his overworked and overprotective mother will not talk about their situation and forbids him to play football, his younger sister is annoying, he is involved in a romance complicated by prejudice, and he feels like he is missing out on everyday high school life as he juggles studying and a job. When someone starts sending him letters and videos his father wrote ‘just in case ‘ before his death, filled with stories and wisdom he wouldn’t get to share with a teenage son, old wounds are reopened as Michael is challenged to missions that will change his life. Michael’s quest to be the man in his family, to discover who is father was and how he died, and a twisted ending will spark emotion in a reader looking for closure for Mike and his family in this deeply moving novel.

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