Jack and his family become a foster family to Joseph. Joseph is in eighth grade, he attacked a teacher, and he is the father of a baby girl he's never seen, but he will do anything to find her. Jack's family farm has cows and horses, and it's very cold in the winter, but Joseph begins to thaw as he spends time there. Most of the kids and teachers at Jack's school don't trust Joseph very much, but as his story is revealed to Jack, he becomes more determined than ever to help Joseph any way he can.
Joseph's story is heartbreaking, but Jack's comparative innocence provides a lighter perspective throughout the book, even when horrible things happen. A few bright spots show support for Joseph, including the math teacher, who works with Joseph to study advanced concepts, and the P.E. teacher who looks out for him. This book challenges readers to think about gossip, judgment, and willingness to give someone a chance, as well as societal systems that crush individuals. Jack's loyalty is inspiring, and though his parents might be too unrealistically perfect, it's nice to read about Joseph having something safe and good in his life.
"She came back home for Thanksgiving and Joseph walked seven miles to see her on the stormy, icy Friday afterward.
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