Wounds by Barbara Bockman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Craig is wounded, not just emotionally by his mother's death, but physically by a father who spiraled downhill after his wife's death.
Without an parent to guide him, Craig is torn by his own guilty conscience to the point he acts out disastrously. Nearly destroying an ancient oak tree with a chainsaw, Craig is doubly wounded. Not only by his own sad past, but the realization of his own terrible act.
So what, it's only a tree? Not so. The oak was an heirloom, having stood for centuries. The entire town pitches in to help save the damaged tree. Saving the damaged boy will be just as hard. The family who takes in the abandoned boy work hard to save both tree and boy. Craig's salvation comes from his desperate attempts to save the tree.
Bockman really knows how kids' minds work, or at least she has convinced me in this sad tale of loss, pain, and redemption.
Well done YA contemporary.
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