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"Where would you like to be five years from now?" Dr. B. asks.
"Nowhere," America answers.
By age fifteen, America has already been nowhere. Been nobody. Separated from his foster mother, Mrs. Harper. A runaway living for weeks in a mall, then for months in Central Park. A patient at Applegate, the residential treatment facility north of New York City. And now at Ridgeway, a hospital.
America is a boy, he thinks to himself, who gets lost easy and is not worth the trouble of finding.
But Dr. B. takes the trouble. With abiding care, he nudges America's story from him. An against-the-odds story about America's shattered past with his mother and brothers. About Browning, a man in Mrs. Harper's house who saves America, then betrays him. About a bighearted, hardheaded girl named Liza, and Ty and Fish and Wick and Marshall and Ernie and Tom and Dr. B. himself who care more than America does about whether he lives or dies.