There's only one thing Jess Aarons is looking forward to in fifth grade, and that's being the fastest kid in school. He's been practicing all summer. He hasn't had much else to do, since his mom spends all her time with his four sisters and his dad is always working.
But when Jess arrives at the school playground to show off his speed, his new neighbor, Leslie Burke, beats him to it. She's way faster than Jess. But instead of being jealous, Jess admires Leslie's skill, confidence, and wild imagination. The two become instant friends, spending hours in the woods by their houses creating a magical kingdom. Then tragedy strikes, and Jess is left alone. How can he ever go on?
Gripping, relatable, and very emotional, this powerful tale touches hearts with its wonderful portrayal of love and friendship.
Set in contemporary rural America, "the story is one of remarkable richness and depth, beautifully written." — The Horn Book
1978 Newbery Medal winner; ALA Notable Children's Books of 1976-1980.