Dillard Early is an outcast. Living in a small, southern town, he is trapped by both his father and grandfather’s history. No one can forget he is the son of a Pentecostal preacher who is now in prison. Dill’s only relief is his friendship with fellow outcasts, Lydia and Travis. However, as his friends prepare for college and other changes, Dill feels more and more trapped by his inevitable, stifling future. Will Dill be brave enough to escape his past and create a better future?
Zentner’s excellent writing brings both his setting and characters to life. Dill and his friends have unique situations, but they will speak to teen readers everywhere. This powerful story provides an equally painful but hopeful look at the coming of age process and the power of friendship. It isn’t a light read, but it is important and eye opening.