It snows right before Thanksgiving, which means that Beecher Prep is closed for an extra day. Jack is bummed that August is ignoring him, so he's thrilled to have an extra day off. Jack's dad also has the day off, so he takes Jack and Jamie sledding on Skeleton Hill. On the way home, Jack finds an old broken sled and his dad lets him take it home. Jack fixes it up, paints it, and names it Lightning. The next day, Jack goes back to Skeleton Hill and discovers that Lightning is the fastest sled he's ever ridden. By Monday, all the snow has turned to slush. Jack wants to tell August about Lightning, but he doesn't.
Although the novel clearly shows that school is important, it also champions the power of staying home for a day to recharge and rejuvenate. This is another way that the novel shows that growing up means taking steps forward and back, as it casts these days at home as recovery days and preparation for one's return to school.