Summer and Shiner by Nolan Carlson
Publisher: Vintage Reflections Publishing
Genre: action/adventure, contemporary
Length: Short Story (87 pgs)
Rating: 4 suns
Reviewed by Tulip
Carley and Troop, blood brothers for life, spend a summer together like no other. Releasing a trapped raccoon, battling their club rivals, the Spiders, climbing Cave Springs Mountain at night, and skinny dipping in crazy old Luke Webster's pond are just a few of their adventures. Travel back with Carley and Troop to a simpler time...a time for growing up, adventure, and fun!
School is out for the summer in Randall, Kansas. It is the late 1940's and Carlisle "Carley" Bimberg and his best friend, pure-blood Cherokee, Bryan "Troop" Whitewater are walking through the woods. They have finished the chores for the day and are just being boys.
They encounter a racoon that is caught in a trap that was left by a careless hunter over the winter. They rescue "Shiner" and Carley makes him a pet, with permission from his parents.
Shiner is the best pet that Carley could hope for and goes with him everywhere. Shiner even sleeps with him, nestled under the covers like a small child.
Carley and Troop are co-founders of a gang called the Mustangs and are constantly butting heads with Mick and his gang, the Spiders, and Mick's mean dog, Devil.
The boys are spending the summer doing initiations with the gang, learning about miracles that are more earthly than heavenly and forming friendships that get stronger by the day.
Nolan Carlson has written a book about a much simpler time and does a great job of placing you in that era. His description is wonderful and you are made to feel like you are there with the characters.
What really appealed to me was the part about Carley reading Moby Dick for pleasure. There are no cell phones, no internet, no TV. Just a very simple life, with maybe some radio for media.
The only issue that I have is that I have a hard time thinking that nine to twelve year olds would really relate to the story. Most kids of that age today wouldn't fathom the simpleness of the era and the pace of life that these boys enjoy.
All in all, though, I really enjoyed the story. It made me wish for a return to a simpler existence.