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Reviewed by Claudia Robinson
“In a few minutes dishes would fly to the sink. Teeth would have to be scrubbed. Dad would drive downtown. The boys would walk to school. Mom would descend the basement steps to the laundry room. The troubles of the day were waiting. It was best now not to stir up such things. Dad drank his prune juice and winced. These were the last precious moments of Winchell-Mahoney Time.”
Patrick Cantwell is about to enter the 2nd grade at Mary Queen of Our Hearts parochial school. His Aunt Jenny is about to take her vows and become a Nun, his Mother is expecting another baby, his Grandfather drives a sweet Cutlass, his older brother wants to be in a band, Beatle-mania is reaching a fever pitch, and Patrick has fallen in love with Ebby Hamilton. Life is good, confusing, but good. But, when Patrick’s older brother, John and his good for nothing friend Kurt, convince Patrick to help them steal money from a local store, the Ben Franklin, in order to afford the drums John’s brother’s band will need, life is suddenly not as rosy.
Patrick finds himself facing moral issues a young boy of his age should never have to deal with. On top of having a police record, Patrick is unsure of how Ebby feels for him, and when his Grandmother dies, everything in his life suddenly seems to be falling apart. Determined to right his wrongs and atone for his sins, Patrick sets about turning over a new leaf, but finds it’s not as easy to do as it seems.
Written with humor, wit and from a 2nd grader’s perspective, Never Hug a Nun is literary mind-candy. Entertaining and quirky, Kevin Killeen writes decadently, fleshing out his young characters perfectly, and readers can’t help but feel empathetic towards them all, despite their antics. Quick paced, enthusiastic, quaint and sweet, it’s a trip in to the past where life was slower, gentler, but boundaries and limits were set and clear. Anyone who has been to parochial school will enjoy the narrative of Patrick’s school days and experiences with the Nuns, and older generations will be reminded of the innocence of this era.
The laid back style in which Kevin Killeen portrays his characters, endears his readers instantly to them, with laugh out loud appreciation. From hidden forts, train tracks, first love butterflies, fairs, dodgeball at recess, angry Nuns, secret passwords and Frank Sinatra, Never Hug a Nun returns readers to an era where big cars, rock and roll and ice cream sodas reigned supreme, offering up a big, juicy slice of nostalgic bliss. A great anywhere, any day FUN read for all genres and ages.
Read an excerpt from the book here
Claudia lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband and two children.
Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Blank Slate Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.a Rafflecopter giveaway