When bullets fly, people die and families suffer and sometimes never recover. That’s what thirteen-year-old Mann realizes two years after his six year old brother is shot and killed. As the violence continues in his community, Mann’s grieving father takes extraordinary measures to save his remaining son’s life. Only Mann, a gifted painter who is fond of Leonardo DiVinci and riding horses, isn’t prepared for the world his father ushers him into. As a result, he learns some hard lessons and has to make some difficult choices in order to set his life right.  Themes explored in this book include family and community, art, animals and healing, violence, grief and forgiveness.

Buy Now from


Awards & Recognitions

  • Detroit Free Library’s Author of the Year Award
  • Voya’s Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers
  • CCBC Choices Best of the Best
  • Book Sense Children’s Picks

Discussion Guide

Download the guide (PDF)


Listen to a sample of the book.