Sunday, November 16, 2008
Last Days of Summer
This book was received as part of a postal letterboxing ring (we send a favorite book and a stamp carved based on the book, to a group of people). This is one of the most fun books I have read this year. The style of the book is different than normal. The book is written in letters and Western Union notes back and forth between various characters, report cards, psychologist notes, newspaper clippings and baseball schedules.
The story deals with a 12 year old Jewish boy, Joey, living in a neighborhood where he and his Japanese best friend get beat up on a regular basis. Joey is an incredibly smart, wise-acre, who decides to befriend a baseball star, third-baseman Charlie Banks from the New York (baseball) Giants. The story mixes real life (World War II, FDR, Hollywood) with these fictional characters.
Charlie Banks is a young, hardheaded and famous baseball star and does not want to deal with an annoying fan. But Joey is a force of nature all his own. The book deals with about a two-year period of their friendship, including the foul-mouthed Charlie learning the Torah so Joey could get Bar Mitzvah'd. I laughed out loud A LOT and had to stop and explain to Jake why I was laughing.
If you are looking for a fun, laugh-out-loud, bittersweat book, check this one out.