Sunday 13 October 2013

Book ~ "Little Joe" (2013) Michael E. Glasscock III

From Goodreads ~ When Little Joe Stout survives the car accident that took his parents’ lives, he is sent to live with his maternal grandparents in the small town of Round Rock, Tennessee. Orphaned and missing his Texas home, Little Joe is reluctant to adapt. But his grandparents, especially his grandmother, are up to the challenge of raising him despite their own struggles. Soon, childhood friendships are forged in the oddball duo of Sugar and Bobby, and—with the help of a new canine companion—Little Joe begins to see that his new home offers the comfort and love he thought was lost forever. 

Set against the drama of World War II and the first sparks of the civil rights movement, Little Joe’s new home is a microcosm of America in the 1940s. A frightening incident with a Chinese motorist traveling on the wrong side of town, the migration of troops across the countryside, and a frank discussion of Jim Crow laws are just a few of the local events mirroring the radio broadcasts that bring the news of the day into his grandmother’s kitchen.

It's the 1940s and when nine-year-old Little Joe's parents are killed in a car accident, he goes to live with his mother's parents.  Used to living in the city in Texas, he hates his new life with his grandparents especially since they live on a  farm.  He now has chores and one of them is to feed the chickens, which he makes friends with ... which eventually become supper. As he settles into his new life, he becomes friends with Sugar and Bobby and gets a puppy named Napoleon.

This is the first in the Round Rock series ... I finished the second one earlier today.  As with the first one, I liked the writing style ... I thought it flowed well.  It is written in their person, with a focus on Little Joe. 

I felt bad for Little Joe ... everything thing he knows has been taken from him, he's a kid and he now has to live in on a farm with his elderly grandparents.  He has no say in anything and he had to suck everything up.  His grandparents are no nonsense country folk ... they come across as cold and unemotional but I got the impression they sincerely loved Little Joe.  They were strict ... no radio until he did his homework and chores.  When he does something wrong, he is punished.  It's not until the end of the book that he realizes that his grandparents truly do love him and are doing what's best for him.

I'd recommend this book.

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