This gem of a story, covering eight days in a sleepy small-town summer, has an unusual central character: a one-legged homing pigeon named Sherman who has gone missing from Mr. Mineo’s flock.

While on the lam, Sherman is spotted by many folks. Stella and her friend Gerald want a pet. Amos and Ethel Roper enjoy arguing about the bird. Mutt is enthralled that the silly pigeon seems attracted to his head and that everyone thinks he is making up the story. And the unnamed sweet brown dog only wants a friend.

All these stories twist and turn into each other like the footpaths of a small town. Where will it all end up? Just where it should: The brown dog finds a home (and a name: Harvey) with Stella, Mutt’s story is proved true, Sherman finds his girl pigeon and everyone has a soda at the bait shop.

Barbara O’Connor’s gift in storytelling is her restraint. Holding back allows the reader to fill in a bit, making the story more personal. Her talents make On the Road to Mr. Mineo’s an unforgettable trip.

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