By John Corey Whaley, 228 pages
This book was...interesting...and I liked it...but it was confusing...but I liked it...sort of...I don't know. This is a story of Cullen Witter and the disappearance of his brother, and the apparent reappearance of a believed to be extinct woodpecker. And a side-story that is completely unrelated until the last part of the book. Cullen thinks he is just your average teenager dealing with growing up and putting up with his annoying/mean/stupid classmates. His younger brother is most definitely not average, he has a life outlook that is at once unusual and refreshing. When his brother disappears, Cullen learns first hand how loss can make others treat you differently and makes you view yourself differently. Rather than focus a large amount of time on his brother's disappearance, the town is instead obsessed with the recent sighting of a woodpecker believed to be extinct. Add to that the occasional side-story going on, and it is easy to get confused during this book. I feel that many things had potential about this book, I liked the characters and the voice, but the side-story especially was a major distraction. I think the book would have been much stronger without it. Not my least favorite book I've read lately, but certainly not my favorite.