By Ann Herrick
Puddletown Publishing Group, $10.99, 142 pages

After his father was killed by a drunk driver, Eric becomes withdrawn and angry. He defies his mother, fights with his sister and questions his future. He wavers between wanting to pursue a career in football, and giving it up altogether. This is the inspiring story of his journey from pain to acceptance as he works through misunderstandings and jealousies. While unable to express his feelings to his family or friends, when he meets a new girl in town, he learns to open up. Glynnie is also struggling with angry feelings about her father after the divorce of her parents. As he introduces her to their small Oregon town, her straightforward manner puts him at ease, and they become friends and even a hint of romance begins to appear.

Author Ann Herrick lives in Oregon with her husband, who was her high-school sweetheart. She loves cats, the Oregon Ducks, and the beautiful countryside. She writes stories and books for children and young adults.

Any young person struggling with the loss of a parent, whether through death or divorce, will relate to this sensitive story. In an entertaining format, there are nuggets of wisdom and guidance that can offer help and comfort. Even readers without a loss will find this book charming and enjoyable.

Reviewed by Fran Byram