While waiting at the hospital, Graham meets Lou who coincidentally is also waiting with her family for a donor heart to come. With their shared situation, Lou and Graham bond easily and they discover a shared love for birding. Going through Graham's mother's old things back home, they find Mom's birding journal and learn that she had been on a quest for a rare bird called a Snail Kite that she never found. Determined to complete his Mom's quest in her honor as she waits for a donor, he and Lou set out on an adventure to find the Kite.
A lively middle grade adventure story that manages to cover two separate topics (organ transplants and ornithology) with a good mix of information and entertainment. While the two main subjects are unrelated, I thought the birding helped to lighten the otherwise heavy nature of the medical stuff (especially given the story's rather heavy ending). I was a bit annoyed at how passive Graham was and it soured me a bit on his character. And I would have preferred if Nick had gotten some sort of comeuppance for his meanness. However, the birding stuff was great and may encourage a few young people to pick up a pair of binoculars.