Richie Small finds himself living in a dilapidated trailer with his mother transplanted to rural Michigan from Kentucky and attending a new school. His small physical size, thick black-rimmed glasses, and quiet nature make him the obvious target for the school bully, the gargantuan Clarence Goodfellow. If that were not enough to place a bull's-eye on his back, Richie is an avid reader, smart enough to be termed a geek or a nerd if anyone should find out. While trying to make himself invisible to Clarence and the others around him, Richie is befriended by a stray dog that becomes his first true friend and a fifth-grade teacher that discovers and shares his passion for the written word. Although poor and different, Richie and his dog, Lady, capture the heart of a community that will eventually call him a hero.This book takes an honest look at the issues and situations students face in any school and in any community. It is a heartwarming story that highlights the love shown by a hardworking single mother, the influence of a caring teacher, a coach that recognizes heart, a fellow student who needs help, and the influence of a dog that seems to know it all. Hopefully, not only will it encourage younger readers to appreciate the written word but also be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys a heartwarming story of a young man befriended by a dog.