Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Over and Under-- Todd Tucker

It's summer time, 1979, in rural southern Indiana. Weather's so hot it's impossible to wear shoes, and there's nothing better to do than go fishing and traipsing through the woods with your best friend. Over and Under is a Stand By Me-esque tale of Andrew Jackson Gray and Thomas Jefferson Kruer. The boys have been best friends since birth, and spend their days and nights exploring the woods, caves, and other environmental wonders of southern Indiana. When the Borden Coffin Factory workers strike, Andy and Tom suddenly find themselves on opposite ends of an issue that goes way over their heads. Tom's dad is a line worker at the factory and Andy's dad is in management. Weave in some good old Indiana boy adventure and late 1970's politics, and you have Over and Under.

Personally, I didn't love this story... it just isn't my favorite type of fiction. Being a (former) Indiana gal myself, I did kind of appreciate the way Tucker wrote his characters. Yes every boy knows how to shoot a gun by age 12 (at the latest), and the summer thunderstorms are thrilling. I can think of a whole grip of boys I used to bring books to on the bookmobile who would love this story. But mostly it strikes me as a tale other adults would enjoy. Don't get me wrong-- this novel is definitely YA-- it's just loaded with that type of nostalgia only adults really have.

I think boys will like this story, especially those who live in a rural area and are always badgering you about gun books (not urban, but country type gun books)... if you have patrons like this, you know who I am talking about! I'll be interested in what others have to say about this book.

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