With refreshing honesty, heart, and humor – and a compelling young narrator – the author of the award-winning LONE WOLF takes readers back to 1925, and a place where a boy must become a man all too soon.
It’s 1925 in multiethnic Roslyn, Washington, and twelve-year-old Slava has earned the nickname “Cuss” because he can swear in fourteen languages. In fact, Cuss loves languages, period: unlike his older brothers, who left school after sixth grade to work in the coal mines, he likes reading about as much as he likes goofing around with his friends – or planning the great grape heist of Roslyn. But when bootleggers stir up trouble and force his big brothers to skip town, Cuss feels the weight of family responsibility dropping onto his shoulders. How can he hold on to his dream to stay in school – and still do the honorable thing by his ma and little brother?