Friday, January 30, 2009

THE SUMMER THE WIND WHISPERED MY NAME by Don Locke

THE SUMMARY: Davy's world revolves around the joys of growing up in his neighborhood--an early morning paper route, street baseball, tree house meetings, homemade fireworks, and quirky neighbors. He emulates his father, and longs to be like him. Yet when a new family moves into the neighborhood, it causes a rift in Davy's family, and eventually, the entire neighborhood, dividing families, dividing neighbors. Davy suddenly doesn't recognize his father and wrestles with defending his father's actions and honestly looking at his dad's flaws.

THE MESSAGE: This is more than a story about racial prejudices in the 1960s. It's the story of a young man who suddenly realizes his father isn't perfect and begins to question many of his foundational beliefs. He longs for his father to be the dad of his dreams and wrestles with finding a balance between doing what is right and also honoring his father. And although Davy comes face to face with the ugly discrimination against a black family, he soon recognizes the many ways his neighbors judge all fringe members of society.

THE PRESENTATION: Author Don Locke writes from Davy's perspective. Thus, all adults are addressed as Mr. or Mrs., the joys of life are Good Humor trucks and Roy Rogers belt buckles, and the best way to seal a promise is with boogers. Most of the time Locke refrains from making Davy sound like an adult, although there are a few times Davy sounds older and wiser than his age. This is Locke's second book about Davy, although this one is a prequel to The Reluctant Journey of David Connors. It probably helps to read that book first as there are scenes in The Summer the Wind Whispered my Name that set up The Reluctant Journey.

THE QUOTE: "Maybe there was no real normal. And maybe that was a good thing. I wondered if maybe that's what God had in mind all along."

THE RECOMMENDATION: 3 out of 5

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