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“The Dump” is what Doug Swieteck calls his new home in upstate New York. He lands there in the summer of 1968, when the Apollo space missions are under way, Joe Pepitone is slugging for the...
“The Dump” is what Doug Swieteck calls his new home in upstate New York. He lands there in the summer of 1968, when the Apollo space missions are under way, Joe Pepitone is slugging for the...
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  • “The Dump” is what Doug Swieteck calls his new home in upstate New York. He lands there in the summer of 1968, when the Apollo space missions are under way, Joe Pepitone is slugging for the New York Yankees, and the Vietnam War is raging. At home he lives with a father who has lost his way and a brother accused of robbery. And Doug’s oldest brother is returning from Vietnam. Who knows what wounds his missions have given him?

    But Doug has his own mission, too, and it begins when he first sees the plates of John James Audubon’s Birds of America at the local library. His mission will lead him to Lil Spicer, who shows him how to drink a really cold Coke, to Mrs. Windermere, who drags him to a theater opening, and to the customers of his Saturday grocery deliveries, who together will open a world as strange to him as the lunar landscape.

    Swieteck, who first appeared in Gary D. Schmidt’s Newbery Honor book The Wednesday Wars, will discover the transforming power of art over disaster in a story about creativity and loss, love and recovery, and survival.
 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Gary D. Schmidt is the author of Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, which won both Newbery and Printz Honors, and The Wednesday Wars, winner of a Newbery Honor. Schmidt teaches writing in the English Department of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and in the MFA Writing for Children program at Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Doug Swieteck, who has just moved to a new town and is struggling with an abusive father, is trying to figure out who he is. Lincoln Hoppe has no trouble finding a voice for the hero or accenting the novel's dark, lyrical tone. The first-person point of view reaches out to involve listeners in the story, and Hoppe makes the most of these invitations. He captures Doug's indecision--will he adopt the hard tones of his father and older brother or his mother's tenderness? Hoppe expresses Doug's attempts to cope with abuse as well as with his burgeoning creativity and the first stirrings of love. Just as skillfully, Hoppe delivers meaningful depictions of the minor characters. His considerable talents paint a vivid portrait of a troubled family and an unforgettable hero. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 21, 2011
    This companion to The Wednesday Wars follows the formula of Schmidt's Newbery Honor winner with less success. Doug Swieteck, a prankster in the previous book, has graver problems than Holling Hoodhood did, making the interplay of pathos and slapstick humor an uneasy fit. In summer 1968, the Swietecks leave Long Island for the Catskills, where Doug's father has found work. Doug's mother (like Holling's) is kind but ineffectual; Mr. Swieteck is a brutish jerk. His abuse of his three sons, one of whom is currently in Vietnam, happens mostly offstage, but one episode of unthinkable cruelty is recounted as a flashback to explain why Doug refuses to take off his shirt in gym class. Doug does make two key friends: Lil, whose father owns the deli for which Doug becomes delivery boy, and the less fleshed-out Mr. Powell, a librarian who instantly sees Doug's potential as an artist. There are lovely moments, but the late addition of an implausible subplot in which Lil, who has never shown an interest in acting, is drafted for a role in a Broadway play, seems desultory considering the story's weightier elements. Ages 10–14.

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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