The premise: Derek's dad flies Apache helicopters for the Army, but Derek's not too excited when the Army calls his dad back to Afghanistan for a second tour. Feeling like his dad is gone more than he's home makes the letters they write back and forth something of a treasure to Derek. But being bullied by your used-to-be best friend and having your dad halfway around the world leaves Derek wondering if his world will ever make sense again.
What I loved: The range of emotions. Derek and his mom travel some high highs and some low lows. Told by Derek in his very real, very honest, eleven-year-old way, the reader can't help but feel what Derek does and step right into his shoes. David Fleming brings readers into a world where many of us don't live -- a world where loved ones are separated because of duty. And if this is your world, this book helps others understand just how difficult your world can be.
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Happy middle grade reading!