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Travis is missing his old home in the country, and he's missing his old dog, Rosco. Now there's just the cramped place he shares with his well-meaning but alcoholic grandpa; a new school and the dreaded routine of passing when he's called on to read out loud. But that's before Travis meets Mr McQueen, who doesn't take "pass" for an answer a rare teacher whose savvy persistence has Travis slowly unlocking a book on the natural world. And it's before Travis is noticed by Velveeta, a girl whose wry banter and colourful scarves belie some hard secrets of her own. With sympathy, humour and disarming honesty, Pat Schmatz brings to life a cast of utterly believable characters and captures the moments of trust and connection that make all the difference.

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