Rave Reviews Log: Historical Fiction

September 12, 2009

Jim the Boy

By Tony Earley
Era: 1930's American South
Rating: 4 stars

One week before Jim Glass was born, his father died unexpectedly in the cotton field. His mother, Cissy, stays with her three bachelor brothers, who raise Jim as their own. Starting with Jim's tenth birthday, we follow Jim through a year of his small town life. A life that is filled with small things, but big things for a kid. Like trying to win the dollar off the greased pole at the festival, starting a new school, and making a new best friend. There is lots of humor in the stories of Jim's year, as well as a real depth of emotion as Jim struggles with feelings he isn't always proud of, like when he tells a lie or is jealous of a friend. The characters of Jim's three uncles will sometimes leave you in stitches, and their solidity is so real you feel like you can reach out and touch them. Readers will identify with Jim's up and downs and be drawn into this beautifully written, quiet story. A real winner!


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