by Paul Fleischman (1999)
I wasn't sure about this one during the first chapter -- teen alcohol, hormone and suicide issues -- but then it got much better. Alternating chapters between a boy seeking redemption for mistakes and the people whose lives are touched by his actions and art, it's interesting and thought-provoking.
Whoa! Just checked the published date: 1920?!?!?!? Need to double-check that, or re-read the book, 'cause that doesn't make sense... UPDATE: no, of course it wasn't written in 1920 -- that's what I get for trusting anything on the Internet for viable information!