Sunday, January 8, 2017
Shaky Man by Mark S. Parker
Stay away from Shaky Man. Every kid in the small town of Tonkaway, Texas, knows that.
He eats little kids, murdered his wife, and mistreats his dogs, to boot. That’s what they say, anyway. Top doesn’t entirely know what to think about the rumors. He’s too busy settling into his new home, playing baseball and making friends—like Mickey, a black boy who soon becomes his best friend of all.
Everything changes when a shocking murder turns the town, along with Top and Mickey’s lives, upside down. Neighbors show their true colors. Shaky Man’s secrets are revealed. Through it all, Top learns again and again just how confusing and unfair the world can be. A tale of childhood set in the 1960s, Shaky Man timelessly reaffirms the basic goodness of humanity and the importance of friendship and compassion in the face of prejudice.
Here's a bit of honesty for you, I didn't have any expectations of liking this book very much. Not that I thought I would 'dislike' necessarily, but I didn't think that it would stick in my mind. I had no reason to feel this way. The blurb actually sounds really interesting! I don't know if it was the cover that made me think that I wouldn't love it, the fact that it's a middle grade book, or just me being weird. Anyways, I said that to say this... I was wrong.
Shaky Man is a very interesting read, much more so than I initially expected! It is definitely a middle grade book so it's not exactly "my kind of book" anymore but it is certainly one that I will be recommending to middle grade students. This book teaches important life lessons while keeping a fun, lighthearted element with the baseball storyline. Very enjoyable, great read!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.