Jackie, The Adventures of a Little Boy Trying to Grow Up.

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What was life like for children eighty years ago? What did kids do for fun without computers or game systems or iPads or cell phones or even (gasp!) television? Jackie: The Adventures of a Little Boy Trying to Grow Up will give readers a delightful taste of life “pre-electronics”; it may even inspire some envy!

Jackie was just an ordinary little boy in Niagara, Canada, in the 1930s and ’40s. He lived in a very traditional household; his parents loved him, he played (and sometimes fought) with his siblings, and he and his neighborhood friends found excitement doing the ordinary things that all children did at that time. Over the course of Jackie’s elementary school years, Jackie played in the snow and learned to ice skate; went on hikes with the Cub Scouts; had appendicitis and went to the dentist; met new teachers; even had his first encounters with girls. Ordinary things.

Was it a simpler time? World War II was present in the background, and Jackie’s older brother entered the military. News on the radio influenced the boys’ games. But it didn’t have much effect on Jackie, and he really seemed to have quite an idyllic childhood—it’s actually quite refreshing! He liked most of his teachers (not all!) and seemed to enjoy school activities, but mostly his life revolved around playing with his older brother Armie and their friends, with his secure family back at home at the center.

Jackie’s adventures are fun and simple, although sometimes harrowing (like his Cub Scout hike or getting lost in a blizzard). Readers will probably be surprised by the amount of freedom Jackie had, even at a very young age. He and his friends biked or walked everywhere, completely unsupervised, and they played for hours, always outside, getting into trouble and out of it. But even though some details differ dramatically, the feelings and concerns of childhood are universal and timeless: boyhood crushes, trying to be accepted, conquering fears, and proving oneself. This book is reminiscent of the Little House on the Prairie books as it matter-of-factly recalls adventures that would seem quite foreign to most children today. But Jackie and his friends are so easy to relate to as they go through the common challenges of childhood that children will enjoy reading about his adventures and will wish they could have joined in.


Reviewed By:

Author John Tammela
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 327 pages
Publisher Acorn Independent Press
Publish Date 30-Mar-2015
ISBN 9781909121911
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2015
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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