Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice.
The Trouble in Me by Jack Gantos. 208 p. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, September 1, 2015. 9780374379957.
Publisher synopsis: This fiery autobiographical novel captures a pivotal week or two in the life of fourteen-year-old Jack Gantos, as the author reveals the moment he began to slide off track as a kid who in just a few years would find himself locked up in a federal penitentiary for the crimes portrayed in the memoir Hole in My Life. Set in the Fort Lauderdale neighborhood of his family's latest rental home, The Trouble in Me opens with an explosive encounter in which Jack first meets his awesomely rebellious older neighbor, Gary Pagoda, just back from juvie for car theft. Instantly mesmerized, Jack decides he will do whatever it takes to be like Gary. As a follower, Jack is eager to leave his old self behind, and desperate for whatever crazy, hilarious, frightening thing might happen next. But he may not be as ready as he thinks when the trouble in him comes blazing to life.
First line: I was still in my white Junior Sea Cadet uniform and was marching stiff-legged like a windup toy across the golden carpet of scorched lawn behind our new rental house.
Page 56: Since the hamburgers were ruined Dad suggested that he and Mom go to the Sea Cadet Commodore's cocktail party at the Kon-Tiki Club after all. He had been going to skip the party because of his birthday celebration, but now without dinner I had inadvertently given him and Mom an excuse to get away from us.
No one can tell a story like Jack Gantos.