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by Lance Marcum

Pub Date: May 10th, 2005
ISBN: 0-374-31562-0
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

It’s summer, 1963, and Air Force brat Mitch Valentine is glad to bid adieu to sixth grade. He has his summer planned out to the last minute with his best friend TK, until his parents announce the family will spend a couple months with his maternal grandfather in Pitkin, Louisiana while his father goes in for special training. As if the horror of country cousins weren’t bad enough, there’s no AC or TV! Mitch’s adventures mount with each chapter: He’s chased by a bull, burnt on a rope swing and the cause of a near fatal incident involving an Army convoy and some cardboard aliens. Mitch warms to his situation and his cousins—not to mention his cousin Gary’s sweetheart Skeeter before the summer draws to a happy conclusion. Marcum’s first may be a bit sluggish in places, but it makes for a wonderful historical novel for boys not interested in war stories. The characters and the bayou breathe, and the hijinks will leave ’em laughing. Here are adventures worthy of Peck’s Soup for a new generation. (Fiction. 10-14)