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?
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.
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.
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! :)
Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb
2011 Reading Goal: 12,073/12,500 (almost there!)