Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press
My source: Netgalley
Series: 1st in Round Rock Series
When Little Joe Stout survives the car accident that took his parents’ lives, he is sent to live with his maternal grandparents in the small town of Round Rock, Tennessee. Orphaned and missing his Texas home, Little Joe is reluctant to adapt. But his grandparents, especially his grandmother, are up to the challenge of raising him despite their own struggles. Soon, childhood friendships are forged in the oddball duo of Sugar and Bobby, and—with the help of a new canine companion—Little Joe begins to see that his new home offers the comfort and love he thought was lost forever.
Set against the drama of World War II and the first sparks of the civil rights movement, Little Joe’s new home is a microcosm of America in the 1940s. A frightening incident with a Chinese motorist traveling on the wrong side of town, the migration of troops across the countryside, and a frank discussion of Jim Crow laws are just a few of the local events mirroring the radio broadcasts that bring the news of the day into his grandmother’s kitchen.
Little Joe begins a four-part series from Michael E. Glasscock III that explores the intricate social cloth of Round Rock, Tennessee.
My family is from Tennessee and I was married there, so I thought I would really enjoy this book set there. I was wrong. Although the story itself was a good one, touching on several really good topics, I had a really hard time getting through it. The telling of it was emotionless. Flat. The word monochrome comes to my mind when I think of describing this novel. It needed pops of color. There was no flashes of red or bright green or blue. The author just didn’t make this story or the characters come alive for me.