by Robert B. Parker
I read this book hoping to find a “clean” read with a boy protagonist for a work assignment. It’s a book about Parker’s character, Spenser, as a teen. The book is told by adult Spenser, in chapters that alternate between stories of his teen life and a scene where he is telling all of this to his love interest, Susan. He recalls his encounter with a bear drunk on fermented berries, as well as some of his more heroic deeds. He was brought up by his father and his mother’s brothers, who taught him all about being a man. When he was 14, he saw his friend Jeannie being abducted by her abusive father, so he set out after them, following even when the chase came to a river he had to navigate with no paddle! He’s a pretty smooth hero, and has to take on other challenges once more people come to him for help.
A pretty horrible read, but one of the only “clean” realistic fiction books I could find with a boy protagonist. He mentions that his father talked to him about sex, and lets him taste whiskey after a hunting trip, but that is it in the non-“clean” department. There is no swearing, and the only violence is for self-defense. The font size looks like it’s at least 12, if not 14, and the book is really thin.
A good one for teens who aren’t into long books or character development. Definitely a good standby for boys who don’t typically read for fun but have to choose a book to read for school.