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Wild Grapes by Will Zink
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Wild Grapes

by Will Zink

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Come on in and set a spell in Riverton, Ohio. Grab a soda pop and pull up a chair as you listen to Squid Flower Pants narrate the story of her summer of youth. A self-proclaimed “red-blooded American vagabond-wannabe,” Squid and her sister Amanda enjoy the escapades and misadventures of a magical childhood summer with their friends. Whether they’re saving a possum from being “deep-sixed,” experiencing the joy of the carnival, or ruminating on the possibility of ghosts haunting the nearby Indian Mounds, one thing is for certain: the days are long and the fun never ends.

For those seeking a nostalgic trip back to the halcyon days of youth or for those still enjoying those happy golden years, “Wild Grapes” by Will Zink is sure to satisfy. The old-fashioned atmosphere of the story belies its contemporary setting, evoking sentimental nostalgia with which every reader can identify. “Wild Grapes” reads like a diary as Squid’s first-person account presents the musings of a 12-year-old girl coming of age and beginning to feel the first pangs of young womanhood. Parts of her story are hyperbolized and made into tall tales, which are more humorous given the Beverly Hillbillies dialect that continues throughout. The only obvious drawback is the general lack of conflict and the use of “‘em” (abbreviated from “them”) for “‘im” (him), as well as a few spelling errors. By and large, however, “Wild Grapes” is a sweetly innocent yet at times startlingly clear depiction of a small-town country childhood on the cusp of maturity. ( )
  Stardust_Fiddle | Jun 11, 2014 |
I find the stories of the child to be a little jumpy. The story somewhat follows a story line but jumps way too much for my taste. One minute she's walking with her dad the next its something about a possum and then fireflies. Sorry but I do like me books to be in some sort of order. Not going on my favorites list.
  JeremyWilson | Jun 6, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this book, it made me really nostalgic for my childhood. The main character, Squid, is right in the middle of childhood adolescence. She realizes that she is growing up and that this will be her last summer as a kid.

I think readers around the age of 12 would really enjoy the book and relate to Squids thoughts on growing up. ( )
  aeisen | May 6, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0970070284, Paperback)

Do you remember what it used to feel like walking barefoot in the woods, mud squishing between your toes, sunshine browning your shoulders, your best friends at your side? Do you recall the summer fair coming to town, the excitement of seeing the carnies set up the rides, the thrill of going on them all day long, laughing until your stomach hurt, stuffing pressed wads of cotton candy into your mouth as you strolled down Main Street blocked off for those 5 glorious days the smell of French fries and elephant ears swirling through the air? When was the last time you stomped through a puddle intentionally just to see how high you could make a splash? Did you ever pull a prank so glorious it fooled the entire town?
Part Huck Finn, part Little Rascals, part Catcher in the Rye. . .William Zink, in his first book for the slightly younger crowd, spins a girl s coming-of-age tale unlike any other. In refreshing departure from wizards, vampires, or other escapism comprising the bulk of current young adult literature, Wild Grapes is an innovative, reality-based epic about friendship, hope, and the small, precious details of summertime. Geared for the 12 and up audience, this future classic will be equally enjoyed by folks of all ages.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:58 -0400)

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