by Second Mate Embry, guest reviewer

Title: Wing Nut
Author: MJ Auch
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 256
Grade Reading Level: Grades 6-8

Summary: Grady Flood and his mom Lila have been moving around from place to place ever since his dad died. Lila gets a job looking after an old man named Charlie Fernwald. But Charlie doesn’t think he needs any help whatsoever. Grady can’t wait to move again because he thinks Charlie is weird. Then Charlie and Grady bond over fixing cars and purple martins. Does this mean Grady’s home and life is permanent once more or will life fall apart again?

Why I started reading this book:

It’s one of the books on my school reading list and it was also a choice for a reading assignment by my teacher and was on the list for Book Bash too. It was an all around win as far as book selection goes.


  • I have never read anything else like this before and it was good in a different way. I really liked the topic.
  • I liked how the author kept the reader in suspense with how the father died. It was done really well – not too much and just right.
  • I really liked how Grady thought Charlie was crazy for liking the birds as much as he did – they were just birds – until he found out why they were special and then Grady thought it was cool.
  • It all ended well which made me very happy. I love nice happy endings without anything sad associated with them.


  • I wouldn’t have read it if it hadn’t been on all the lists. It’s not something I would have chosen for myself. There were some parts that were boring and I had to slog my way through it until it picked up again.
  • I don’t think Grady should have helped the starlings because he knew how much the purple martins meant to Charlie. He thought he knew better, but he obviously didn’t and his actions resulted in the death of one of Charlie’s favorite birds.

Buy: Wing Nut

Rating: 3.5 Treasure Chests