Throughout the book, Eli watches his family struggle. The lasting effects of the Vietnam War are felt by every member. Each of them must work to overcome their differences and to forgive their often bitter disagreements. Though almost always an observer, Eli also struggles. While everyone around him is working through their own problems, he is left feeling unloved. He tries very hard to understand his family members, even when their pain is far more than a ten year-old boy can handle. The stress this creates causes him to lash out at Edie when she needs his friendship the most. Ultimately, Eli must learn to accept even those behaviors which he cannot comprehend, forgive himself and those around him for their human weaknesses, and accept and share in the love each family member offers him.
lessons of friendship, hope and love are timeless. Moreover, these lessons are keenly relevant to today’s young adults who are struggling to learn these things in a world and in families that continue to be affected by war and its consequences. (September)
“This book is about the
power of friendship and the joy of accepting yourself
as you are. It’s also about how people can get through
struggles if they have hope and the love of others, and
most important, it’s about the fact that we don’t always have to agree with the ones we love.