THE SPEED OF LIGHT by Ron Carlson

THE SPEED OF LIGHT

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

In the summer that he’s 12, Larry and his friends, Witt and Rafferty, do what boys do in this literary, if not quite satisfying, coming-of-ager. Larry tells it all in the first person, and he’s terrific at describing the bone-deep perfection of long summer days, playing Car Baseball, or Bottle-Cap Baseball, or even Little League. Witt’s father beats him, and Witt beats his sister; Witt copes by trying to find the scientific reasons for everything. His experiments take the form of boyish stunts like sleeping on the roof, and rather more dangerous ones like seeing how much pain his little brother can endure. The climax of the summer comes when the nearsighted Rafferty finally gets to play in the Little League All-Star game, Larry goes to a party and gets kissed, and bad things happen to Witt. What boys do (but not why), bullies, parents, and sleepovers outside are carefully limned, but readers never lose a sense that this all happened very long ago (the late ’50s, to judge from the song “Earth Angel”) in a downtrodden small town near Everywhere. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-38-097837-7
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2003