Reviewer Fran Lewis:
Fran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and Writing
Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters degrees and
a PD in Supervision and Administration. Currently. She is a member of
Who's Who of America's Teachers and Who's
Who of America's Executives from Cambridge. In addition,
she is the author of three children's books and a fourth Alzheimer’s
book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey: Ruth’s story
in honor of her mom. Fran
hopes to create more awareness for a cure of Alzheimer.
She was also the musical director for shows in her school and ran the school's newspaper. Fran writes reviews for authors upon request and for several other sites. You can read some of my reviews on Ezine.com and on ijustfinished under the name Gabina. Follow Here To Listen to Fran's Radio Show and Here
Author: Andy Andrews
Publisher: Hay House Publishing
This book was really refreshing, entertaining and had a lot of humor and great stories. Everyone needs to read this to remember that there are places in the world that do not need modern technology and the frills to survive
Author: Andy Andrews
Publisher: Hay House Publishing
Childhood years are most precious and children are definitely impressionable and often follow the lead of a friend, cousin or sibling with a stronger and more forceful personality. All too often we allow these strong-willed and sometimes recalcitrant friends or relatives to convince us the wrong thing is the right thing to do, even if it means getting in trouble and they get off scot free. This brings me to my review of Return to Sawyertown Springs by Andy Andrews.
This book begins with a recounting of the author’s experience
playing baseball and the humorous and witty description of the new
coach that seemed to have difficulty pronouncing his l’s. He then
brings the story into the present and retells an incident about a
couple whose car breaks down and winds up in Sawyertown only to learn
that they are living in the same century they are but not with the
same modern conveniences. Citywide picnics that are town based and
require everyone’s participation would never happen in a big city
like Chicago where this couple hails from.
What would happen if you transplanted a group of teenagers from Chicago to Sawyertown for a summer and a group of Sawyertown teens to NY or Chicago for a summer? The transformations might be astounding and the results? Who knows? You see, Sawyertown, although the people living there are bright, intelligent and live sort of in the past in many ways without televisions, movie theaters, internet and very little if any technology, people might think they are not quite up to speed when meeting them but they would be wrong. On the other hand, just think how much more you could get down without spending so much time on your cell phones and on computers and actually going to the library and getting all the gossip and news you need from the local newspaper. I can’t imagine teens from Chicago or any pick city adapting to the ways of this small town that sounds so picturesque and serene and yet a lot does happen there, but not quite the same as in a big city. Change is frowned up when it comes to the landscape adding anything new and modern that would prevent children from having a place to play, picnic and enjoy the outdoors.
Recounting his childhood stories from the past and relating similar stories in the present allows the reader to get to know not only the author but also the town and how it has not really changed. Everyone knows everyone, everyone looks out for everyone and everyone has opinion about everything. What is so different about where you live? Nothing! There are just more people to try and do the same thing but on a larger scale.
Throughout the novel the author recounts stories about his childhood and relates those from his visit as an adult. Practical jokes played by kids and parents on Halloween night that was hysterical. People that come together in good times and adversity help endear you to this town and the people living there. . When a storm destroys part of the town and they find a document giving ownership to one of his residents who now owns all of the property and the town as a descendant of the original owners, who would accept a payment of only 34 dollars from each person as full payment for their home or business. It’s a town where everyone knows everyone and everyone looks out for everyone. It’s a town where kids are respectful to adults and children stand when a grownup comes into the room How refreshing! It is a town where children know that everyone is watching and your parents have eyes all over so don’t try it!
Each season brought about new memories from the past and in the present. Each season taught the townspeople the different meanings of friendship that not only surrounded them during the holidays but also taught them how to blend their church and family life together. I think the story about Billy Pat and the dogfight was really different. Imagine Andy’s first love, Sharon and how hard a young boy tries to get a girl to notice him. Life long friendships, loyalty, caring and understanding and helping a neighbor are just part of what this book is about. How many of us have even one true friend from our childhood? How many of us would buy something from a bus that is really a mobile store just to help out a neighbor? Not many!
This is a town, which has its own spirit and it own special flair. It is a town with real people who care about each other. It is a town with one doctor, one volunteer policeman, one mortician and a lot of love and caring for others. But, I think the funniest story the author described was when his mother took him to the dentist and he squirted him with the water gun because he was afraid of an extraction and was not sure what that meant. I hate the dentist and extractions are not on my top ten list. I also loved what his teacher told him right before graduating High School. Her words were so true as an educator I have said that so many times to students and as someone who was always different than others, it really hit home. “A person’s difference can change the world but only if they gather the courage to use it.” People need to stand up and be counted for who they are and inspire others to do the same. Andy Andrews not only did you have a lot to write about you did more: You reminded us of that there is a town that has people that care about each other. A town where people settle their differences the right way and a town that has children who know the meaning of respect. I think we could use a little of this town in every big city and that old fashioned respect in our schools today. The slogan for this town really fits: This is a nice town you will like it. Maybe Ms. Edna would like to print that in the Sentinel. You are certainly unique and different and you did not bore this reviewer at all. You should never let yourself get in the way of doing something great as you stated in your guide at the end of your book. You certainly succeeded in doing what you wanted and I bet your father parents are proud.
This book was really refreshing, entertaining and had a lot of humor and great stories. Everyone needs to read this to remember that there are places in the world that do not need modern technology and the frills to survive.