IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD YEAR by Jane Flory

IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD YEAR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Cameos of Philadelphia's Reed Street, in 1910 ""a mixed bag of nationalities"" in the process of assimilation, are loosely focused on ten-year-old Barnett Freedman and his non-observantly Jewish family. Barney's familiar activities--scrounging change from the grating with a gum-tipped stick, evading the Italian kids on Catherine Street, hanging around the stable or Kolb's bakery--are interspersed with the usual mischief on Halloween and the Fourth of July, pale encounters with a pretty female classmate, and fights with neighborhood bully Smelly Huggins. Everything's as familiar as cinnamon rolls, especially heart-clutching Mom (""President of the Reform School, he'll be,"" she murmurs of Barney's brother Benjie). Pleasant enough nostalgia, but the adventures are doughy and the characterizations--a once-over-lightly combination of O'Riley's, Schermerdines, and Vitallis--need leavening.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin