This sensitive and often humorous book tells the story of an adolescent boy who begins to find himself after the people he has always depended on let him down.
Alone. That’s how thirteen-year-old Justin feels these days. His older brother Duane has left home, enlisting in the Army, and his father has walked out, maybe for good this time. His mom is too depressed to get out of bed, much less pay the bills and keep food in the refrigerator. And if that’s not enough, his best buddy Ben has a new girlfriend and no longer has time to hang out. There’s not much left for Justin to do but to put his brain in neutral and slide into the state he calls “the Big Nothing.”
But slowly Justin discovers he has more resources than he thinks. With the help of his classmate Jemmie and her grandmother, Nana Grace, he learns that underneath all the noisy confusion in his brain lies a talent for music. As he spends time with Jemmie, he begins to understand how simple notes make complex music, and how simple feelings can turn into deep emotions. Award-winning author Adrian Fogelin once again offers readers an emotionally charged story featuring a sympathetic adolescent trying to make sense of the people and world around him.