This is good fun. It has one foot over into the tall story. All the characters are exaggerations, and the plot is the biggest exaggeration of all. Newton Pierce is 13 in 1935. He's a fat, flute playing city boy. His father, with vague ideas of toughening him up, sends him into a rural limbo in Michigan for a summer with his grandparents. The old boy is a reincarnation of Pa Kettle with fantastic contraptions and inventions while Grandma, who hates a conversational void, flings out her memorized, startling newspaper fillers. Newton conceives a passion to own a family Civil War sword. Foxy Grandpa makes the fat boy compete for ownership of the sword with his skinny cousin, tomboy Cassy Rubbins, who has conceived a passion for Newton. Farm work is their tournament ground and Newton chisels with a fine abandon. A big assist from beyond the grave achieves a happy ending to a broadly slap-happy story.