Friday, March 20, 2015

Jackie: The Adventures of a Little Boy Trying to Grow Up

Jackie: The Adventures of a Little Boy Trying to Grow Up is written by John Tammela and is an autobiography of his childhood as told from the point of view of the boy and an omnipotent narrator.

I have to agree with the sentiment that this is not a fitting cover for the book. Although “Jackie” looks sad on the cover, this book is anything but a sad story. This is instead a look inside the atmosphere of growing up in Niagara Falls, Canada in the 30s and 40s.

Jackie’s family immigrated to Canada from Finland prior to the start of World War II. Jackie’s childhood is reminiscent of the freedom that children used to know growing up. I had many moments that took me back to “A Christmas Story” and I could definitely see Jackie’s adventures with his friends and family being turned into a similar style movie.

Jackie’s live within the book ranges from toddler to fifth grade. During this time his adventures span from school stories, to shenanigans with his siblings, and even overcoming the fears of a small boy.

There are a few “experiences” within the story that will remind you of the growing up in Now & Then, or even Stand By Me which is completely realistic for a real little boy who is growing up into a young man. These are tastefully done and innocently real.

Although the font and the chapter length in the book is reminiscent of a middle grade novel, I found this book to be suitable for all age groups. If you have ever grown up or if you are just now growing up, I am sure that you can find something to relate to within John Tammela’s story of adolescence.

I give this book 4/5 stars. The beginning starts off a little slow and the ending wraps up in a detached way that is not seen in the rest of the book. Otherwise I thought it was well done and I loved the hand drawn maps and associated drawings that brought life to the stories told within the book. Quite the exciting childhood, makes me wish I could allow my son some of the same freedoms that can’t be found in current urban living. If you are interested in child biography, Canada, childhood, growing up, humor, imagination, etc, then this is a great book for you.  Also I have been told by the author that there is a second book in the works, so watch for that to come out in the near future!

*I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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