This is the Everybody Reads book for this area. I was very disappointed as I had heard so many good reviews. The book is terribly dated and very predicable. The inner life of the characters is flat and plays on every child's wish to surpass the bullying of childhood. It may have been quite daring in its time and this may be why it received the Newbery Medal. I will no longer use that as a standard to judge a possible book I might like to read. Wish I had not wasted my time. I would not recommend it to children now as it has very dated stereotypes about girls and how they are treated in a men/boy dominated society. Maybe some historical relevance but that is pushing it.