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Marshfield Memories are stories of a man telling telling a bunch of kids what it was like for him as a kid. There he was living in a great neighbourhood, with lots of friends, and a good school. Family was a pivotal part of his childhood years and it shines through every story he tells.
From the publisher:
As the oldest of nine kids, Ralph was often cast as another parent to his siblings rather than as an older brother; teetering between these two conflicting roles, Ralph longed to be home alone on a sick day, but hated the emptiness of feeling left behind. He loved to play sports with his neighborhood friends but resented the skillful victories of his younger brother. Thrust into the expectations of impending adolescence, Ralph was curious about girls, but embarrassed to take part in the school square dance. This satisfying memoir offers a snapshot of those pivotal moments between grade school and high school, all while tracing the roots of Ralph Fletcher’s acclaimed storytelling.
What you Get
An easy read book filled with folky wisdom and stories of a boy becoming a man. The path wasn’t always easy, but it was always a path.
All the stories are separate, and yet connected. They follow in order, which means you aren’t jumping around from little kid, to older and back again. NO confusion, just an easy read of a man telling stories of his youth.
In fact, the stories are SO like a grampa sitting down and telling his grandkids about his exploits as a youngster that I was in no way surprised when he showed off a poem he wrote as a kid. It just fit!
As an adult I thoroughly enjoyed this book infused with folky wisdom. I suspect my son would enjoy it as well, I’m not entirely sure. He tends to like books with a story line that runs from one point to the next. This book is a series of short stories around the same theme, Fletcher’s growing up years. BUT they do involve all the same characters and continually moves forward which he would consider a win. 🙂
Marshfield Memories: More Stories About Growing Up.
Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt & Co.
208 pages, softcover, 8 – 12 years
Childhood, Memories, Growing Up, Family Values
Reviewed for Raincoast Books.