Paolo's plan for August in Orange Grove City is to hire out his little brother to the neighbors. Georgie is six; he needs a manager.
But then the family dog, Rufus, is stolen.
Overnight, Paolo is trying to manage not just Georgie, but their deaf cousin, Billy, who speaks only with his hands; Henry, a strange vacation visitor whom the boys discover living locked in his aunt's attic; and Butter Schwartz, a lonely, half-wild schemer with a paper route. The last two are definite dognapping suspects....
To top it all, a girl with a big-time crush on Paolo won't let him be, day or night, crisis or no crisis. For her, missing Rufus is nothing to snaring Paolo, who has met his match as a manager.
The solution to the mystery of Rufus, the threat of Theresa, and the future must rest in Billy's hands.
D. James Smith lives in California, where he studied with poet Philip Levine. A recipient of a fellowship in creative writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, his work appears frequently in literary magazines, most recently, The Amherst Review, New Millennium Writings, the Notre Dame Review, and Stand. His previous books include a collection of poems, Prayers for the Dead Ventriloquist, and an adult novel, My Brother's Passion.
His novels for younger readers are Fast Company and his first book about Paolo and friends, The Boys of San Joaquin.
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (October 15, 2010)