ALL THE DAYS WERE SUMMER by Jack Bickham

ALL THE DAYS WERE SUMMER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ohio, summer of 1943. That's the setting for this relentlessly heart-warming, slickly told tale about a twelve-year-old boy (with a blind dog) who learns: (1) what real courage is (2) how hatred can lead to cruelty and injustice and (3) the virtues of love and patience. Danny Davidson, just moved from Columbus to the little town of Harmony with his parents and young sister, can't quite understand Dad's ""soft talk"" about the German prisoners in Harmony's POW camp (where Dad is a civilian administrator). And Danny's not the only one who fails to appreciate Dad's unwarlike attitude. There's the Colonel in charge of the camp--with ""eyes like steel bearings""--plus an assortment of townsfolk who have firearms at the ready. Moreover, Danny faces similar hostility at school, especially from the bully, Bill Sheehan, who makes Danny's life miserable and makes him feel like a coward. But then the town's meanest and toughest kid, Benny Harrison, takes a liking to Danny, teaching him how to fight; unfortunately, he also takes him on a shoplifting jaunt, which lands Benny in reform school. Still, throughout all the hard times, as Dad and Danny fight their respective tormentors, there are two things to be happy about: Skipper, the blind puppy that Danny saved from destruction; and the friendship of German prisoner Rudi, a former vet, who teaches Danny how to train Skipper. And finally--after some danger, cruelties to dog and people, and a huge flood--Dad saves the town by outshouting the prejudiced. . . and Skipper makes the supreme sacrifice. An efficiently paced story with some neat twists and an oom-pah message: prime material for the sort of movie Disney used to make.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1981
Publisher: Doubleday