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124 E Washington, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 | 734.585.5567 | email@example.com | M-Th 10-9 | Fri & Sa 10-10 | Sun 10-7
Sixteen-year-old Vic Benucci suffers from a condition called Moebius syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that causes facial paralysis, which means he cannot blink, smile or frown. Bullied by his classmates and often assumed to be stupid by adults, he is actually witty and intelligent, a lover of art and opera, which becomes clear when he opens his mouth and speaks. What Vic's face cannot show, but he needs to say is that he still grieves for his father, dead more than two years ago from cancer, while his mother seems to have moved on with a boyfriend who loves canned green beans. He runs away on a quest to scatter his father's ashes, and bumps into a ragtag group of homeless kids and young adults who have named themselves Kids of Appetite: Baz and Nzuzi, brothers who survived a civil war in the Congo; Madeline (Mad), whose parents were killed in a car wreck; and Coco, 11 years old, a cussing Little Orphan Annie down to the red hair. They take Vic in, feed and shelter him, treat him with kindness, just because he asks for help. When the book begins, it is eight days since Vic left home, and he and Mad are being interviewed by the police as witnesses to a murder for which Baz is the prime suspect. As they recount the events of the previous week, it becomes clear that all the Kids of Appetite have sorrows to tell at least as great as Vic's. This is an amazing second novel by David Arnold-- a book about accepting loss, finding family, finding love, and discovering that we are all Chapters in each other's stories.— From Jill's Picks