Review by ChrisKauf -- The Boys of Summers Run

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Review by ChrisKauf -- The Boys of Summers Run

Post by ChrisKauf »

[Following is the official review of "The Boys of Summers Run" by James L. Cotton.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Boys of Summers Run by James Cotton is a book about coming of age and finding one’s way in the world. It is told from the perspective of Claude Kinkade who has returned to the family farm with his mother for an extended visit.
This story is set in the countryside of Pennsylvania where the families of the main characters have lived all their lives. It begins with Nathe taking his younger cousin Claude up in his hot air balloon. Claude’s father, Blake, was a pilot who perished in the Gulf War. Blake and his cousin Nathe were best friends growing up and always together except when Nathe was off working as an actor on westerns. As a child Blake was fascinated by the rooster weathervane on top of the barn and at one time tried to climb up to see it. When someone in the family says they are “off to see the Rooster’ it means they are leaving on a trip, there’s a big event or some other important mission to attend to. Nathe decides to organize a community Little League team for the local boys. They name the team the Panthers. Nathe becomes a father figure and mentor to Claude through this process. The team surprises everyone with how well they play.

You will have to read the book to see how this all turns out; no spoilers here but I think you will enjoy the journey.

I enjoyed this story very much. I am a baseball fan and have played on softball teams so I had an understanding of how teams can forms bonds of friendship. I liked most of the characters in the book but it was pointed out to Claude that those who are not our friends are often our best teachers so the ones I did not care for did lend a lot to the story.

I enjoyed reading about the simple life the families lived on their respective farms; Claude’s family at Shadeland and Nathe at Summers Run. I really wanted to go up in the hot air balloon with Nathe and Claude, the description almost made me feel I was there. Throughout the story, as in real life, lives are changed, people move, friendships take on new meaning. I felt bad when Claude had to leave to go to Las Vegas with his mother when his heart was still at Shadeland though he learned many life lessons during his time there. I did not like the way some people treated Claude, people I felt should be more supportive of him but again this mimics real life. The characters are written so that I felt I knew them and knew how they would react in situations though some did surprise me. I will not give anything away but I truly enjoyed the ending.

I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I felt like I was right there rooting for the Panthers to win but also rooting for the families to succeed and overcome their personal trials, due to the writing style of the author. I believed I knew many of the motivations for the characters and this made the book more interesting. I think just about anyone would enjoy reading this book. It deals with growing up and making choices and not just about baseball.

The Boys of Summers Run
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Post by Arushi Singh »

Beautiful review! Thank you for writing this. :D
Latest Review: "Drive East Until You Hit An Ocean" by J. Walter Swartz and Richard Waite
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