This book is not for people who need sunshine and joy in their books, not that those subjects are EVER in novels-in-verse. I wouldn't even give this to people who loved Sharon Creech's "Heartbeat." This book is basically one emotional punch to the stomach after another after another for most of its length, and even after the constant punching subsides it's still pretty sad. Regardless, I wanted to hug this short little book, with its detailed, sad writing, and I would rank it just a bit below "Out of the Dust," my favorite novel-in-verse ever. This rock is a diamond.