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Title: Adventures in NowhereAuthor: John Ames
Review Copy Provided by: publisher, Pineapple Press
About the Book: Before Disney and far from the palm-lined Florida beaches, ten-year-old Danny Ryan is transplanted to a tiny community on the hyacinth-choked Hillsborough River outside Tampa, a place his older sister calls Nowhere. But for Danny and his best friend, the irrepressible Alfred Bagley, whose fondest desire is to grow up to be a junk dealer, Nowhere is where adventures lurk and lure them into more trouble than they can handle. More trouble is not what Danny needs as he copes with a family that includes a father sinking into schizophrenia; two sisters, one very ill and the other ready to run away with a shady boyfriend; and a mother trying her best to hold it all together.
My Thoughts: This wasn't an easy book for me to get into. I'm not sure why, though. After I got past the first chapter or so, it was an easy read.
This story is written from a young boy's perspective and set in the 1950's. It takes the reader back to a time when youth was innocent, and young kids could run free without being afraid. It's a very compelling coming of age story.
I loved Danny's character! He was strong, witty, and independent. Danny is like many kids today who come from a troubled family. He does what he needs to do, within himself, to get through his childhood and become a strong, independent adult. His family is dysfunctional: a dying sister, a father who could blow his top, at any moment, and a mom who tries to hold it all together, the best she can. He doesn't have many friends, but the ones he does have stick by him. John Ames has written a wonderful character in Danny; one I'd like to know in real life.
The story pulls you in, takes hold, and doesn't let go, even after you've turned the last page. Ames has written a winner. Open the cover and take a trip back in time with Danny; you'll be glad you did!