A sixth grader who has been blind since the age of two, when he was in an auto accident that killed his father, secretly learns to carve birds from wood. Jon's dad was a gifted carver; the birds he left are among Jon's treasures. Learning something that might seem impossible without sight would not only be a tribute to his dad's memory, but would demonstrate to Jon's insensitive new teacher that being blind doesn't make him as different as she thinks. Mom, however, still grieving, doesn't like reminders of dad, so Jon's approach to gruff, testy old ""Carver,"" a successful local artist, is a secret he shares only with new friend Matt. The outcome here is never in doubt--Jon has talent as well as persistence, and his surprisingly good first effort helps his mother to transform her grief into healing memories; but how Jon persuades the unwilling old man to teach him, as well as the way he himself is changed as his skill develops, makes an unusual, compelling story.