"There is nothing bland about the regional picture of farming and peach-picking or about the portrayal of family relationships; rather, there is a striking vitality, due to D.J.’s keen perception and humor and his growth in appreciation of his family."
"The whole book is alive. Highly recommended."
It seems as if D.J. Madison would prefer to make enemies than friends. His pranks have a mean-spirited edge to them, especially those he plays on his tag-along younger brother, “Skinny Little Renfroe,” and his know-it-all older sister Clara May. D.J.’s friend Nutty is content with the friendly rivalry he and D.J. have with the four Castor boys who live nearby. D.J., however, would rather fight them for real than just wrestle. But, what D.J. does and what he feels inside are two different things. He knows that times are hard enough for his family. He really wants to act better toward them--toward everyone--but is not quite sure where or how to start.
Finally, D.J. goes too far. He seriously injures Renfroe and then ruins Clara May’s chances for a coveted community honor. Rather than get even, both Renfroe and Clara May turn to their family for support. In their strength D.J. finds his own, and vows that he will no longer be his own worst enemy.
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