Synopses & Reviews
From award-winning novelist, a hilarious and poignant coming-of-age story set in 1967.
Seventh grader Holling Hoodhood has a tough year ahead of him. First of all, his teacher Mrs. baker, keeps giving him the evil eye. Second of all, the class bully keeps threatening to do Number 167 (and you don't even want to know what Number 167 is). Third of all, his father keeps calling him the Son Who is Going to Inherit Hoodhood and Associates. But things are changing, and while reciting his favorite curses from Shakespear's plays, Holling might just find the true meaning of his own story.
"'Johnstone brings to life one of the most endearing characters to come along in some time. Holling Hoodhood is starting seventh grade in 1967. It is a time of change, not just for Holling as he begins his journey into adolescence, but for the world around him as well. The war in Vietnam is raging and the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy hang heavy on the American consciousness by the end of the school year. And for Holling, the world of nascent relationships lies before him, not to mention, baseball, camping and the constant excitement, wonder and terror of being 11 at such a volatile time.Johnstone's first-person narration perfectly captures Holling's progression from an angst-filled yet innocent boy, to a wiser, self-aware young man. His reading is touching, funny and insightful; he manages to bring the listener back to a time real or nostalgically re-imagined, at least when the crack of a bat against a ball in Yankee Stadium or sharing a Coke with a girl at the Woolworth's counter was all any boy could want. This is a lovely, heartfelt novel, read with as much care as the author used to create it. Ages 10-up. (June)' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
About the Author
Gary D. Schmidts most recent novel, The Wednesday Wars, has been garnering excellent reviews. His novel Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy won both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor. His other novels for Clarion are Straw into Gold and Ansons Way. He is a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and lives on a farm in Alto. He and his wife have six children.