A Story About A Boy and A Soldier
by Anita Bradley
Trade Paper: 6" x 9", 188pp.
ISBN: 1-59663-611-4, 978-1-59663-611-8 $12.95
Special Introductory Price $10.95
The boys were rowdy; the rules of the game, flexible. An icy breeze carried offensive language to Carrie’s ears.
She kept watching, as their voices got louder. Someone had kicked the ball into the yard of the well-kept Victorian house across the street.
“Get it, you jerk-off,” the tallest boy shouted.
But jerk-off didn’t budge. “If you think I’m going in there, you’re crazy.”
The tall boy yelled again, at someone who looked like a bee, engulfed in his bright yellow and black down jacket. “You get it.”
“No way,” bee answered. “I’m not going near that crazy, old bear.” And he left his position in the game and trotted past Carrie’s open window.
Silently, the rest of the boys abandoned the game … they turned and faced the Victorian house. They pulled their hair down over their eyes, pushed their nostrils up as far as they could go, and shouted, “I’m Old Joe Bear.” Then they laughed and ran off in different directions.
When dire financial circumstances force Carrie Jackman and her son Jason to move to the poor town of Coatsville, neither is happy. Carrie struggles as a fifth grade teacher, while Jason attends high school, where he is threatened by a bully on the bus called Moose and another in class named Matt.
Joe Behr, a Vietnam veteran with a nose blown off in battle, observes Carrie and Jason from the windows in his home across the street. When Jason meets him, he responds in a friendly way, not like other boys who taunt him.
When Matt steals Jason’s bike and sells it to the Hunt Street Hoods, Joe takes it back; and both he and Matt suffer the Hoods’ retribution.
It’s Jason who helps them. In a remarkable way he makes a friend and finds redemption for a soldier in a story that will both entertain young readers and cause them to ponder war and its aftermath long after the book is put down.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anita Bradley lives with her husband in a ‘touristy town’ in Massachusetts. With her children grown and her days as a teacher over, she’s ready to write. There are stories in her head waiting to come out. This is the first one; she’s already working on the second.