Jimmy Tock comes into the world on the very night his grandfather leaves it. As a violent storm rages outside the hospital, Rudy Tock spends long hours walking the corridors between the expectant fathers’ waiting room and his dying father’s bedside. It’s a strange vigil made all the stranger when, at the very height of the storm’s fury, Josef Tock suddenly sits up in bed and speaks coherently for the first and last time since his stroke. What he says before he dies is that there will be five dark days in the life of his grandson—five dates whose terrible events Jimmy will have to prepare himself to face. The first is to occur in his twentieth year; the second in his twenty-third year; the third in his twenty-eighth; the fourth in his twenty-ninth; the fifth in his thirtieth. Rudy is all too ready to discount his father’s last words […]
New from the author of The Beetle and Me comes this fascinating portrait of coming of age in the Sixties. Young introduces an unforgettably spirited heroine–almost-13-year-old Cherie Witkowski–and her equally memorable family. I really liked ‘Outside In’ by Karen Romano Young. I wasn’t so sure about that in the beginning as it took a bit to get into the main character’s head. But once I found ‘that space’ it was an amazing read from there. Set in the 60’s, ‘Outside In’ shows the world through the eyes of almost 13 year old Cherie Witkowski. Cherie learns more about the world, good and bad, than she ever intended when she takes over a friend’s paper route. Vietnam, Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, Robert Kennedy’s assassination, the disappearance of a 13 year old girl from a local community, Apollo 10. As she tries to figure out how the news affects her world […]
Nobody understands Wallace Wallace. This reluctant school football hero has been suspended from the team for writing an unfavorable book report of Old Shep, My Pal. But Wallace won’t tell a lie — he hated every minute of the book! Why does the dog in every classic novel have to croak at the end?After refusing to do a rewrite, his English teacher, who happens to be directing the school play Old Shep, My Pal, forces him go to the rehearsals as punishment. Although Wallace doesn’t change his mind, he does end up changing the play into a rock-and-roll rendition, complete with Rollerblades and a moped! Wallace Wallace does not lie. No seriously. He. Does. Not. Lie. Which, besides the point of who names their kid Wallace Wallace?!?, is a problem. When given an assignment to write a book review of Old Shep, My Pal for school, he writes it exactly […]
‘The Collision’ by Jeff Abbott was a random book selection for me. I’d not heard of the author but the story concept looked intriguing when I read the jacket. And it was really well written. I had trouble in the beginning following the different storyline beginnings. I think this stems more from my personal inability to remember names than it does the writing itself. Once the different story lines merged into the meat of the subject matter the story took off for me. (Though I still struggled with a few too many names.) This was a great book that I would recommend to other friends who enjoy the genre or a similar style. The main drawback, for me, was it was almost written to close to ‘formula’. Good guy in trouble for something he didn’t do, bad guy in trouble well because he’s bad guy. Supposed other good guy is […]
The premise of ’42 Miles’ by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer was good. The writing was actually very good. The difficulty is with the way it was laid out. It was very difficult to follow the story at times. I think the attempt to mirror a book of poetry while remaining prose created a conflicting story line. The way the pages jumped to different ideas while at other points tried to tell a chronological story left me feeling a little out of the loop. The story and writing has amazing potential but fell flat of what the intentions were.