Two boys’ prank goes badly wrong, with life-changing consequences.
At 8 years old, Moses was shot by his cousin and best friend, Charlie, and died for three minutes. Since that day he has been considered a miracle boy by his family and has had an almost reckless sense of indestructibility. Now high school juniors, Moses and Charlie “were trying to be funny, and maybe even do something good. Stupidly.” But when their prank—which involves destruction of models representing major world religions—goes off the rails, they are labeled arsonists and criminals. The townspeople insist that what they did was a hate crime. Charlie is shot by the police, but since Moses is a minor and the judge determines he isn’t dangerous, he is given a chance to redeem himself and is ordered to serve as a camp counselor for a week, working with elementary school–aged kids. Can Moses, who has high aspirations for college and his future, find his way through the darkness and tragedy? A Midwestern teen struggles with loss, guilt, and finding his place in the world without his best friend in this character-driven novel that at times veers into the excessively wordy. Major characters are assumed white.
Smith weaves between past and present, exploring growth and personal relationships in this emotional debut novel. (Fiction. 12-18)