Everything Else in the Universe

Twelve-year-old Lucia Mercedes Evangeline Rossi, Lucy for short, is missing her father. He was drafted to Vietnam as an army doctor nine months ago, leaving Lucy to count the days he's been gone, trusting in the promise he made that he'd always come back to her. When she learns her dad is finally coming home, she is relieved, even though she knows Dad is returning without his left arm. Lucy has decided she can be her father's missing arm, and whatever else he needs, because she and her dad have always been a team.

But Dad has trouble adjusting to life as an amputee; he's moody and distant and doesn't seem to want Lucy's help at all. Lucy is bewildered and hurt.

Then Lucy meets Milo, a curious neighborhood boy with a secret. The two become fast friends, and together they find an anonymous soldier's Purple Heart, helmet, and family photos buried in Lucy's back garden. It's a bona fide mystery. Each needing some good sign from the universe, they decide to find the rightful owner, hoping against hope that the soldier is alive and well. It's a journey that Lucy didn't expect, but one that might just help her answer the only question that matters: Will her dad ever really come back to her?

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