Sunday, December 18, 2011

Book Review: Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb

For those of you who don't know, Wally Lamb is my favorite author. I try not to choose favorites, but if I had to put one author above all others, it's Wally Lamb. Would you believe, then, that his book Wishin' and Hopin' was published in 2009 and I've just now gotten around to reading it?

I'm ashamed.

Here's the storyline, courtesy of Goodreads:

LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone's turntable, and Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette!) is doing his best to navigate fifth grade—easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy.
Back in his beloved fictional town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, with a new cast of endearing characters, Wally Lamb takes his readers straight into the halls of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School—where Mother Filomina's word is law and goody-two-shoes Rosalie Twerski is sure to be minding everyone's business. But grammar and arithmetic move to the back burner this holiday season with the sudden arrivals of substitute teacher Madame Frechette, straight from QuÉbec, and feisty Russian student Zhenya Kabakova. While Felix learns the meaning of French kissing, cultural misunderstanding, and tableaux vivants, Wishin' and Hopin' barrels toward one outrageous Christmas.
From the Funicello family's bus-station lunch counter to the elementary school playground (with an uproarious stop at the Pillsbury Bake-Off), Wishin' and Hopin' is a vivid slice of 1960s life, a wise and witty holiday tale that celebrates where we've been—and how far we've come.

For those of you who love a good Christmas story--and even those of you who appreciate them from time to time, this is a must-read. It's an extremely quick read, at only 273 pages, and entertaining the whole time. I would criticize that much of it sounds as though it's straight out of A Christmas Story (movie), but I imagine most young boys in the 1960s had similar holiday experiences.

Perfect holiday read! Especially one week before Christmas! :)

My stats:

Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb
Rating: 4/5
Pages: 273
2011 Reading Goal: 12,073/12,500 (almost there!)

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