Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review - The Jeeptown Sock Hop by John Harrigan

How did I come into possession of this book?
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.  I got a nice, personal email from the author that really showed he had taken time a look at my blog.  I really like this, and will review almost any book that comes my way if you take the time to make me feel like I am the one you want reviewing your book!

First Lines:
“When you drive cross country to relax for a few days with your sister you don’t expect a blind date with an old friend.”  (Harrigan 5)

What is it about?
Set in the 1950s in the Midwest this story centers around a boy who is going through a lot.  His brother is off to Korea, his Dad’s union is on strike, and his best friend is black.  All he really wants to do is play music with his friends, and show that an integrated band can work, but so much of life gets in the way. 

What did I think?
It seems like I haven’t read a recent historical book in a while.  So this was a great change from some of the other books I’ve been reading.  Since it was a genre I don’t read a lot of, I was worried the story would be slow and it would take me a while.  But this book caught me right away and I felt like it read at a great pace.  I loved the setting, the time period and everything going on at that time. I really felt for Charlie, he is a character who is hard not to like.  I could feel his anger for Mr. Jackson, and even though he wasn’t always sure about the details of the strike I really liked how he stood by his father.  All the characters seemed very genuine and real.  This book was sad, and happy, and sad again but I enjoyed it the whole way through.

Who would I recommend it to?
I thought this was an interesting look at a different time of union strikes and how it really affected families back then.  I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a good down to earth book about normal kids growing up in the 50s.  It reads pretty fast and I think it is a nice book to mix into a diverse to-be-read pile.

Check out other reviews on this book from fellow bloggers:
And a good Author interview at Tribute Books

Did you read this book and review it on your blog? Let me know in the comments and I'll add your link!