It all begins when Rocky follows Mick Strum around town while he sketches its people, animals and graveyard. Mick has been commissioned by Rocky's Kansas town to create a memorial to their war dead.
As Rocky learns to respect Mick and his talents, he helps her to develop her own artistic sensibilities.It all begins when Rocky follows Mick Strum around town while he sketches its people, animals and graveyard. Mick has been commissioned by Rocky's Kansas town to create a memorial to their war dead.
But the townspeople see things in Mick's drawings that they don't want to know or accept about themselves. Can Mick help them accept one monument that will be meaningful to everyone?
Rocky, an adopted, partly lame teenage girl, tells how a memorial to her small Kansas town's war dead came to be built and how her vision and those of the other residents were altered by the monument's artist. When Rocky first encounters Mick Strum, he is filthy and disheveled, sleeping off a drinking binge in his dilapidated car. But she is magnetically drawn to this unlikely seer and from him learns to observe freshly and to develop an artist's eye. In contrast to Paulsen's customary action-packed adventures, this novel is chiefly about ideas--featuring characters whose primary function seems to be expressing concepts about art and the artistic process. As such, the story has an over-intellectualized, sometimes pedantic air and may disappoint readers hoping for the gritty realism, veracity and raw power of Paulsen's best works. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)