by Brian Doyle
Winner of the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year, the Geoffrey Bilson Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, and an ALA Notable Books List selection Martin O'Boy's life is not easy. His beloved Granny has just died, his pregnant mother and father fight all the time and his twin, Phil, is completely incapacitated. Martin is the one his mother counts on. But life in Ottawa's Lowertown is not all bad. He has his best friend, Billy Batson (a.k.a. Captain Marvel), the movies, his cat Cheap and there's the glamorous Buz from next door, who is off at the war.As the war comes to an end with the bombing of Hiroshima -- on Martin's birthday -- Ottawa is in a state of turmoil. Returning soldiers, parties, fights and drunks fill the streets. It would all be very exciting, except for one thing. In their endless pursuit of more funds Martin and Billy have joined the church choir -- as summer boys. And the organist, Mr. T.D.S. George, is awfully fond of Martin. But Martin, despite his hardships, has a pure soul and his Granny's love, Billy's friendship, Buz's imminent return, and even his mother's reliance on him, which help him to deliver a kind of justice to Mr. George, and to heal himself and others.