It is a beautifully told story about the loss of one’s best friend, neighborhood kids, pride, and growing up. Tamara Ann Simpson doesn’t like Muscle Man McGinty from day one. The boy tells whoppers. When he brags that he can beat the entire block in a game of kick ball, he goes too far.
Tamara carries the story with such authenticity and artlessness (though considered somewhat of a bully by Booklist). Set in the summer of 1969, there is talk of moon landings, the Vietnamese War, and Slinky’s. Kirkus said it best: “The authenticity of the time and the voice combine with a poignant plot to reveal a depth unusual in such a straightforward first-person narrative. Showing a neighborhood still webbed together by typical daily contact, the characters are individually distinct and real.”
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