Being the new kid in town is a way of life for Bets, but moving to California in 1967 is different. Her father leaves for the war in Vietnam, her history teacher gives an assignment that has the whole school searching for clues, and the town’s most mysterious resident shares a secret with Bets that has been hidden away for decades. When a peaceful protest spins out of control, Bets is forced to reconsider how she feels about the war her father is fighting and her own role in events taking place much closer to home.
As an education specialist, father of two, and a former middle school English teacher, Brian Herberger is immersed in the world of young adult fiction. In his debut novel, Herberger builds on his knowledge of this genre, drawing on themes that have piqued the interest of his students for more than a decade as they too come of age. He draws on childhood memories of flying with his father and combines them with his love of history to create a story that is exciting, meaningful and fun. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Brian now lives, reads, and writes in the Washington, DC area.
As Bets settles into her new home, Miss E. is a puzzle for her to solve. Who is she? Where did she come from? Why is she so interested in Bets? Once Bets discovers the answers, she realizes the questions she had about Miss E. don't really matter. The important questions - the ones she really needs answers to - are the questions she has about herself.
There’s a feeling you get when you’re getting close to finishing a puzzle, and the number of pieces left is small enough that you find their home right after picking them up. The puzzle’s not done yet and you’re not sure how the whole picture’s going to end up looking, but you know you’ve got it solved and it’s just a matter of picking up all the pieces and putting them where they belong. And that’s how I suddenly felt sitting on that bench outside the library.