Chapters 65-66 Summary

Season’s Greetings

At home, Jack and his mom grab the mail and find holiday cards from both Julian and August. August’s family’s card has a picture of the family dog dressed up as a reindeer. Jack wonders aloud if they put the dog on their card every year. 

Jack tells his mom that Julian’s mom used Photoshop to remove August’s face from the class picture. This shocks his mom, who asks if this is why Jack punched Julian. Jack says no, but then he explains. He tells her everything, even about Halloween.

Letters, Emails, Facebook, Texts

A few days later, Jack writes letters to Julian and Mr. Tushman to say he is sorry. In the letter to Mr. Tushman, he adds:

If it’s okay, I would rather not tell you why I did what I did because it doesn’t really make it right anyway. Also, I would rather not make Julian get in trouble for saying something he should not have said.

Julian does not reply to Jack’s letter, but Mr. Tushman writes a kind note to say he understands that every argument has many sides to it. He seems to have a good idea what the argument was about. Although he says it is never okay to hit anyone, he adds that “good friends are sometimes worth defending.”

The adults involved in this matter send a series of emails back and forth. Julian’s mother writes to Mr. Tushman to say she agrees that Jack should be allowed back into Beecher Prep. However, she adds that she feels Jack is under “too much pressure” because he has been pushed into friendship with a boy who has “special needs.” According to her, fifth graders’ “impressionable young minds” are not ready “to process all that.” She questions Mr. Tushman’s decision to admit August into Beecher Prep, and she hints that other parents agree with her on this issue.

In his reply, Mr. Tushman says that August does not have "special needs" and is in fact one of the better students in his class. Mr. Tushman adds that getting to know August is not a burden on kids. Rather, it gives them a chance learn valuable lessons “about empathy, and friendship, and loyalty.” At the end of his email, Mr. Tushman says that Jack Will has all of these qualities. 

Meanwhile, Jack and August send some texts back and forth. Jack apologizes for what he said on Halloween and insists that he did not mean it. When August asks, Jack says he did indeed punch Julian. Although Jack does not want to explain why, August guesses correctly that Julian said something mean. Jack agrees, but he says that he was awful too. He begs for forgiveness, and within minutes, the boys are friends again.