Review From User :
This was a beautiful touching story of friendship and courage and well-deserving of its Newbery Medal! Again, in a fruitless effort to attract my kids - my daughter in particular - to reading English (she is a bit immersed in a fantasy series so it was perhaps just timing), I read this wonderful book about a shy boy (Virgil), a deaf girl (Valencia), a bully (Chet), and a budding psychic and her sister (Kaori and Gen) and how their paths cross one fateful afternoon in the woods between their houses. It is charming and a little scary, but an absolutely wonderful tale that I highly recommend! I think my favorite character was Valencia who describes herself thus: "Right now I'm just a girl eating a sandwich waiting to see what happens next." (p. 193) and I also adored Virgil's grandmother Lola and her many wonderful (if gruesome) stories.
Category: Children, General Fiction
In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his loud and boisterous family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister Gen is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just act normal so that he can concentrate on basketball. They aren’t friends – at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find the missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms.