Widows and Orphans is a story for readers of all ages. Protagonist Crosby Hoggard, a literary cousin of Tom Sawyer, has trouble at Andrew Johnson Junior High School in Monte Vista, California. Big trouble for a twelve-year-old. He’s been labelled “difficult” by school officials. And whenever his class reads a story, Crosby—to the teacher’s chagrin—turns into a junior psychologist, analyzing the dubious details of the superficial plots and of the dangerously innocent lives of the characters.
Crosby is also the daily target of the pimply-faced playground bully, Clyde Winston, who always sits victoriously on his victims.
But all is not bleak, for on his way home after school one hot day in June, Crosby comes to a sudden, personal decision about his life, which he shares with his classmate and truest friend, Maria Lopez. What Crosby doesn’t know is that his resolution will change him in ways he never anticipated, not only at school, but also at home and church.
What happened in Crosby’s life three years ago that set him on an intense and voracious reading jag? Why is it that the people around Crosby seem to know something about his life that Crosby himself refuses to think about?
In the story, a series of remarkable circumstances brings Crosby face to face with the secret of his own past, and he is confronted with his destiny, which is linked to a visiting preacher, an old man who had an encounter with him three years ago. And that encounter is now about to catch up to Crosby for an unexpected, jolting climax.