By Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Bird’s narration is gently matter of fact, and the episodic portrait of his beloved brother’s decline is touching yet accessibly concrete. . . . The story directly addresses the situation at [the younger audience’s] level (‘Papa told me that if Marcus came by, I wasn’t allowed to let him in. That didn’t make sense to me’), describing the changes in the family even as it’s clear that there’s a solid family structure surviving the tragedy. The illustrations balance believably between charcoal and pen sketches, often representing Bird’s own artwork, and watercolor and gouache; precise, detailed draftsmanship grounds the luminous portraiture, while the drawings are credible as those of a genuinely talented kid. The book’s messages—that a brother who destroys himself can still love his younger sibling, and that Bird can remember his brother and still look hopefully to his own future—are lightly handled, and they’ll reassure many youngsters whose worshipped older siblings have feet of clay