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Finns Way Books

Sawdust and Smoke

Sawdust and Smoke

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When his folks move from Buck's Landing to the house on Prairie Creek, fifteen year-old Billy Barnes finds his life has changed in unexpected ways. His new friend Pepper tells him about an abandoned lumber camp nearby and about Roscoe Stapp, the mill owner who vanished years earlier. The "ghost town" is filled with interesting things, a magnet for the curious boys who can't stay away, despite the "No Trespassing" sign that's too big to miss and a crazy caretaker who packs a shotgun.

Riding the bus to school every day, Billy meets Sorrel, the girl who makes his heart flutter and ties his tongue in knots. Billy wishes he were more like Pepper, who claims to know everything about everything, including girls. But Billy's not so sure he believes all that Pepper says.

Poking around the old mill, the boys find themselves in danger when they stumble onto clues to Roscoe's disappearance. When Billy tells Sorrel what he's learned, she worries about what might happen, but the reckless Pepper isn't afraid of trouble.

Billy Barnes' tale is a California coming-of-age story as sweet and as astonishing as an English Oliver Twist's and just as heart-pounding and gut wrenching as can be, teetering on the brink of childhood, looking askance into the depths of the adult world.


Fifteen year-old Billy Barnes finds more than a change of scenery when his folks move from town to the house on Prairie Creek. His new friends, Pepper and Squirrel, present puzzling challenges as Billy discovers life doesn't come with instructions.

Pepper's fascination with an abandoned lumber camp nearby and its decades-old mystery tests Billy's loyalty to his new friend. His attraction to Squirrel, the girl he meets on the school bus, leads to another test of his loyalty as he discovers first love and makes his way into the adult world.

Trouble is never far away when Billy stumbles onto clues to the mystery and meets the evil men who are determined to keep their secrets from coming to light.





Author: Bruce W. Coyle, Cari Miller
Publisher: Finns Way Books
Published: 04/24/2022
Pages: 284
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.80lbs
Size: 8.50h x 5.50w x 0.64d
ISBN: 9780991476343
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