From Wilson (Bringing Nettle Back, 1992, etc.), the story of Felix John Jasquith--JJ--his two great loves (his family's...

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BECOMING FELIX

From Wilson (Bringing Nettle Back, 1992, etc.), the story of Felix John Jasquith--JJ--his two great loves (his family's Massachusetts dairy farm and the clarinet he inherited from his grandfather), and his one great friend, Steven, a talented drummer. The boys' music teacher resolves to start a jazz band starring the two of them. But things are not good on the farm; it costs the family more to produce milk than they can sell it for, so JJ's dad has had to take a construction job in another town to make ends meet. JJ's mother does as much of the farm work as she can, while JJ's Gram keeps the house and cooks for the family. Most of the work falls on older brother, Ray, who hates the farm and plans to leave as soon as possible. JJ takes on extra work, too, at a terrible cost--giving up all other activities, including his music. Steven is angry enough at the development to end their friendship. At the news that his parents have decided to sell off the herd, a heartbroken JJ puts away his clarinet for good. How JJ faces his family's problems as well as his own is at the heart of this sensitive and beautifully told tale. It's also a sobering look at a once reliable way of life that is slowly vanishing.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 184

Publisher: "Farrar, Straus & Giroux"

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1996