Butt Sandwich & Tree
From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Wesley King comes a tender and grounded middle grade mystery about brothers, basketball, and a young boy on the autism spectrum.
Eleven-year-old Green loves his devoted older brother, Cedar, a popular basketball star, but that doesn’t mean he wants to follow in his footsteps. He doesn’t really care about sports or making friends. Still, eventually Green caves to pressure to try out for the basketball team. He may be tall like Cedar, but he’s nowhere near as skilled.
And when a confrontation with the coach spurs Green to flee the court, his flight coincides with a priceless necklace going missing—making him the number one suspect. To clear Green’s name, the two brothers team up to find the necklace, and along the way, they learn to appreciate their differences…and the things that bring them together.
The urgent need to right a profound injustice fuels the tension in this whodunit from King (the Wizenard series), which follows two tightly bonded co-narrating brothers in the Toronto suburbs. Eleven-year-old Green Bennett calls himself "Butt Sandwich" as a play on Asperger's syndrome, with which he's been diagnosed. Heading into middle school, he takes comfort in his routines and his beloved mayonnaise and cheese sandwiches ("the peak of food"). But when his 13-year-old brother Cedar, known as Tree, pushes Green to join him on the school's basketball team, the tryout results in disaster. And after the widowed basketball coach's wedding ring goes missing the same day, Green is blamed for the theft, until the brothers—inspired by the Hardy Boys and Veronica Mars—resolve to uncover the culprit and clear Green's name. While the greater school community harasses and ostracizes Green, he receives love and strong support from new friends as well as Cedar, and the story maintains an enjoyably cozy vibe as wrongs are righted and Green gains a greater understanding of his autistic identity. The Bennett siblings cue as white; an author's note discusses the family-oriented seeds of King's novel and contextualizes Green's diagnosis. Ages 8–12. Agent: Brianne Johnson, Writers House.