One good thing leads to another. Dana, a children's librarian at the Thomas Ford, noticed that I had read some juvenile biographies and offered me another, Knucklehead: Tall Tales & Mostly True Stories about Growing Up Scieszka by Jon Scieszka. Thanks, Dana. It was a very funny book.
Scieszka, who has written The Stinky Cheese Man and other books with Lane Smith and who is a champion of reading for boys, grew up the second of six sons in Flint, Michigan. Knucklehead is a memoir of that rough, crazy time, when he and his brothers would try about anything that sounded dangerous. It is a wonder they did not die or, at least, burn the house down. The book includes a couple of Knucklehead "Do not try" Warnings after stories. It hardly seems necessary, except if there were Knuckleheads in the 1950s and 1960s, there may still be Knuckleheads now. It also helped that his mother was a nurse.
As a contemporary of Scieszka agewise, I enjoyed recalling cub scouts, baseball cards, model planes, Halloween costumes, Dick and Jane, tiny toy soldiers, etc. The black and white family photos with the period furniture, wallpaper, and clothes evoke my own memories. I suspect many of my old friends might enjoy this book just as much or more than young readers. Dana had the right idea. Offer it to older readers.
Scieszka, Jon. Knucklehead: Tall Tales & Mostly True Stories About Growing Up Scieszka. Viking, 2008. ISBN 9780670011063