Strong Boy, Weak Man
Strong Boy, Weak Man is a coming-of-age story about a boy named Michael DeAngelo Nicholas that takes place in the 1960s and 1970s. The book starts off with thirteen-year-old Mike, who lives with his parents and siblings on a white man’s farm. His father takes care of the farm for the owner so the family is allowed to live there and the mother takes care of Mike and all his siblings. Mike is a child who knows that he learns differently from other children. He struggles through school because it takes him longer to learn something than the other children.
I really liked Mike’s character because although he was not great at school, he always tried his best and was interested in so many different hobbies. At first, Mike decides he wants to be a boxer. He practices boxing with a stuffed burlap bag until his fists are bloody. Then, somewhere along the line, he finds a set of clippers and decides he would like to become a barber. It just so happens that his substitute teacher is married to a barber and she gets Mike a job shining shoes for his clients so that he can learn how to cut hair at the same time and make some money. Coming from a large family with a lot of kids, I really felt a lot of gratitude toward this teacher because she cared about Mike and gave him some guidance.
As the story continues on, Mike discovers romance and has sexual relationships with several girls. In fact, throughout the book, he hops from girl to girl as if it is no big deal, meaning that he is very promiscuous. I felt bad for Mike because he doesn’t have a good role model. His father is having an affair with the mother of the girl he is seeing and Mike knows about it and sees how it is starting to affect their family. Their father is never home and only comes to the farm to do basic upkeep. Mike sees his mother’s stress and decides he wants to help her so that she is not so stressed out. Mike is a good boy and does his best to help his family out.
I really enjoyed reading Strong Boy, Weak Man, however, it does need to have a copy editor look over it because there are several grammatical errors. There are also times when the wrong character’s name is used or when Mike is called Nicholas instead of Mike because that is his last name. I wasn’t sure if that was a mistake on the author’s part or not. The fact that Mike has two brothers named William and Bill is also a bit confusing. I thought they were the same person at first but then realized that they were two different brothers.
Overall, Strong Boy, Weak Man is a wonderful story with a promising and likable main character. The storyline is easy to follow and full of interesting events.
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