Saturday, October 09, 2010

Review of Tales of a Texas Boy - Featured Book

BOOK REVIEW (Reviewed in 2008)


BOOK: Tales of a Texas Boy

AUTHOR: Marva Dasef

PUBLISHER: Texas Boy Publications (2007)
READING LEVEL: ages 9-12, Senior Citizens too
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEWED BY: Wayne Walker

This book is a collection of twenty stories told by Edward Perkins (Eddie) who lived during the Depression with his Pa, Ma, younger sister Dorothy (Sister), and little brothers James and John, on a 640-acre farm near Hereford, TX, in the panhandle of the state. It gives a picture of days when life was simpler as viewed by an eleven-year-old boy, whose experiences are reminiscent of both Laura Ingalls Wilder and Tom Sawyer. A note in the front of the book says, "All characters and events in this book are fictitious." However, a note on the back cover says, "The author's father is the real Eddie narrating the stories inside this book."

In fact, at the end of one story about how Eddie's Pa asked a fairly well known amateur detective named Frank Norfleet to help find a con man who had cheated him, a note says, "Frank Norfleet and Burke Mathes were real people. Eddie and his father did not actually meet them. In other words, this is a Texas Tall Tale." Thus, we may conclude that the stories in the book are perhaps based on some real events but many have been fictionalized. I found the book to be very entertaining. Children, and adults too, should get a lot of laughs out of reading all about Eddie and his exploits--whether they are from Texas or not.

Parents who try to be careful about the language in the books their children read will just want to be aware that the "d" word is found once in a story where a stranger uses it to describe his daughter who had tried to steal something from Eddie and his Pa on a trip, but Pa soundly criticizes him for saying it and it is very minor. Tales of a Texas Boy is a lot of fun. So you are invited to sit down, take your shoes off, and hear all about Dad Boles with his tame bear Sophie, Bucephalus (Beau) the jackass, skunks in the corn patch, the mammoth bones at Clovis, the rather strange Luck twins, Cage McNatt's prize sow, Mae West, and many others.

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