Book: Vagabond Boy - Memoir of a Youth's Journey Through a Heartland of Chaos by Joel Everett Hardingcategories: Book, Biography, Growing Up, Childhood, Parenting, Self-Discovery, Americana, Caretaking, Adventure, Difficult Childhood, Family, Family Relationships, Memoir
Joel Everett Hardingabout this book: "If you live on the road long enough eventually you are likely to see a boy erupt in flames. It's easy to set a kid on fire. A little gasoline and some matches will do nicely… I've seen it happen, but I don't recommend this particular method for there are more viable ways to ignite a boy, or even a girl, for that matter."
So begins the opening lines of "Vagabond Boy: Memoir of a Youth's Journey Through a Heartland of Chaos." This true story written in a creative non-fiction style concerns a boy who navigates through an unusual childhood while traveling throughout 1950s America with his restless parents, bumping into reality at every turn. The author's encounters with strange landscapes, curious people, and dubious caretakers dangle confusing lessons he must choose to accept or discard at his peril. The book abounds in humor and boyhood adventure, but chaos also hitches a ride on the family's wandering path. Eventually that path ends abruptly and he is swept toward an emotional chasm that threatens to swallow and imprison him forever, and to secure his future with a purposeful life he must somehow decipher secrets in a mysterious forbidden pond that beckons him.
In addition to providing a "cannot put it down" reading experience, "Vagabond Boy" offers a story of adventure and self-discovery that others should find meaningful for contending with a real life of chaos, past or present.
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