Synopses & Reviews
In the summer of 1979, Andy and Tom are two fourteen-year-old boys---best friends, expert cave explorers, and crack shots with their Springfield M-6 Scout rifles. In rural southern Indiana they are blissfully unaware of the local labor strife surrounding the Borden Casket Company. The fact that Andys dad is a manager and Toms dad is a union laborer has no bearing on their fun and adventure.
But in the building summer heat, violence quickly erupts---including an explosion, a murder, and the escape of two fugitives---and the young boys can no longer ignore that the world around them has forever changed. Through their secret observations of labor meetings, both boys feel the effect of the dissolution, and it tests their loyalty and friendship, as well as the town's spirit.
What began as a season of independence becomes a summer of growth and change, of adventure and misbehavior. Reminiscent of Stand by Me and To Kill a Mockingbird, Over and Under is the quintessential story of ruddy-faced, scheming, precocious boys who must navigate that hazy boundary between growing up and making the most of their last summer of innocence and freedom as they explore the wilds of rural Indiana, see the most amazing gunshot of their lives, and discover what it means to be friends.
"A bitter 1979 labor strike at southern Indiana's Borden Casket Company serves as the volatile backdrop for this haunting coming-of-age novel from nonfiction writer Tucker (The Great Starvation Experiment). With their fathers on opposite sides of the dispute, Andrew Jackson Gray and Thomas Jefferson Kruer, both 14, learn there is more to life than exploring caves, shooting targets with their prized M-6 Scout rifles and sneaking out on starry nights to run through the woods. Andy, who narrates in retrospect from adulthood, has a father who's a manager; Tom's dad is a laborer with 'knotty, showy muscles.' The boys' friendship takes on complicated nuances especially in the wake of a factory explosion that kills the casket company's president. Tucker convincingly makes Andy's voice at once eloquent and gritty, and makes the rural Indiana landscape palpable. Secondaries such as Andy's mother (who has a mysterious past) and Andy's would-be girlfriend, Taffy Judd (who has an abusive father), add further depth to this poignant and memorable tale of lost innocence. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Todd Tucker attended the University of Notre Dame on a full scholarship, graduating with a degree in history in 1990. He then volunteered for the United States Navys demanding nuclear power program, eventually making six patrols on board a Trident submarine. In 1995 Tucker left the navy to return with his family to Indiana to pursue a career in writing. In addition to writing for such publications as The Rotarian, Inside Sports, and Historic Traveler, he has also published two books, Notre Dame Vs. the Klan and The Great Starvation Experiment. He lives in Valparaiso, Indiana, with his family.