Chapters 4-5 Summary

Christopher’s House

August first learns that he might attend a real school when he is playing at Christopher's house. He overhears his mom mentioning it to Christopher’s mom and demands to know what she means. She said she thinks August is ready to go to school with other kids.

August disagrees, and his dad backs him up. August climbs into his dad’s lap and whines that he wants to stick with homeschooling. He knows he is acting like a baby, but he cannot help it.


On the drive home, August falls asleep. When he wakes up, he hears his parents arguing quietly. His mom says that it does no good to “keep protecting” August from his real life. He needs to learn to deal with other people instead of avoiding them all the time. But August’s dad says that enrolling August in middle school is like sending “a lamb to the slaughter.”

August does not know what “a lamb to the slaughter” means, and he interrupts the conversation to ask. His parents refuse to define the phrase, and his mom seems mad at his dad for mentioning it at all.

Mom explains that she and Dad went to talk to the principal of a small school near their house, Beecher Prep. They told the principal all about August’s personality and his bravery through all his surgeries. When August asks, she admits they brought pictures of his face, too.

August is disappointed to learn that his dad attended this meeting. It gives him the sense that his parents are more united in their opinions than they seemed at first. August is even more upset when he learns that this discussion started a full year ago, and that the lady who came to the house a few months ago, supposedly to give him an IQ test, was actually administering an entrance test for Beecher Prep.

Again, August demands to know what “a lamb to the slaughter” is....

(The entire section is 509 words.)