After a few of Sharon Creech's books for young adults that weren't exactly my cup of tea, I finally read two back-to-back that were!
There's also an avalanche scene in the book, which 1) reminded me of this incredibly written but scary NYT piece on the avalanche at nearby Stevens Pass last year; and 2) started to freak me out about avalanches while I'm out snowshoeing.
Chasing Redbird was a bittersweet story about another tween, the middle child of a rather large family. She spends a summer clearing an old trail behind her family's property in the Appalachians. By re-building the trail, she comes to terms with several deaths in her family.
The thing I do like about Creech's protagonists is that they don't come from "perfect" homes; they are generally from struggling or non-traditional families or rural areas, and there is usually some event (birth or death or illness or separation) that provides the catalyst for the angst and apprehensions of her young characters. Though her stories must be wonderful for young readers who can relate to their growing-up themes, her characters are sometimes wiser than many real-life adults who have yet to encounter hardships.