As the new “paperboy” in a new town, 11-year-old Reenie Kelly introduces herself to everyone on her route, except one; Mr. Marsworth, the town recluse who doesn’t answer his doorbell. Reenie begins to leave him letters and the two quickly become pen pals, striking up an unlikely friendship. Through their letters, Reenie tells of her older brother Billy, who might enlist in the Vietnam War. Together, they concoct a plan to keep Billy home, though Reenie doesn’t know that Mr. Marsworth’s dedication to her cause goes far beyond his antiwar beliefs. In this heartwarming piece of historical fiction for young readers, critically acclaimed author Sheila O’Connor delivers a tale of devotion, sacrifice and family.
By Sheila O’Connor
2018, Puffin Books, $8.99