Little Joe by Michael E. Glasscock III
Book DescriptionPublished: Greenleaf Book Group Press (June 1, 2013) E-book copy provided by NetGalley
When Little Joe Stout survives the car accident that took his parents’ lives, he is sent to live with his maternal grandparents in the small town of Round Rock, Tennessee. Orphaned and missing his Texas home, Little Joe is reluctant to adapt. But his grandparents, especially his grandmother, are up to the challenge of raising him despite their own struggles. Soon, childhood friendships are forged in the oddball duo of Sugar and Bobby, and—with the help of a new canine companion—Little Joe begins to see that his new home offers the comfort and love he thought was lost forever.
Set against the drama of World War II and the first sparks of the civil rights movement, Little Joe’s new home is a microcosm of America in the 1940s. A frightening incident with a Chinese motorist traveling on the wrong side of town, the migration of troops across the countryside, and a frank discussion of Jim Crow laws are just a few of the local events mirroring the radio broadcasts that bring the news of the day into his grandmother’s kitchen.
Little Joe begins a four-part series from Michael E. Glasscock III that explores the intricate social cloth of Round Rock, Tennessee.
I am not one to read historical fiction but for some reason Little Joe caught my eye. The cover was inviting and the synopsis wasn’t bad, so I said what the heck and I gave it a try. I wasn’t completely disappointed as the book was good but it was also missing something.
This story is about a little boy names Joe he lives with his grandparents in Tennessee in the era of WWII. How he came to live with them was so terribly sad. And that’s what Glasscock hits us with first, tragedy. This 9 year old boy lost his parents in a car accident and I felt nothing from the words I was reading, I was sad because I’m a human being.
This kid has to move to a new town and start all over and that happens from one day to the next. He was not allotted time to grieve. His grandparent though you can tell loved him were extremely strict and old fashioned. And though they like Joe lost someone, I didn’t feel any emotion from them either. This was hard to understand.
The good part of this story is the relationship Little Joe has with his two friends Sugar and Bobby. Those kids got themselves in to some situation and I found myself laughing.
In the end you know that the grandparents love him and meant well… they just have a different way of showing it.
About the Author
For the first eight years of his life Michael E. Glasscock III lived on his grandfather’s cattle ranch a few miles south of the small community of Utopia, Texas. At the beginning of World War II, he moved to a small town in Tennessee not unlike the mythical Round Rock portrayed in his fiction series. Michael decided to study medicine, and he graduated from the University of Tennessee Medical School at age twenty-four.
Nashville, Tennessee, was the site of his otology/neurotology practice, where he was associated with Vanderbilt University as a clinical professor, and where he continues to be part of the faculty as an adjunct professor. He retired from full-time clinical practice in 1997 and moved back to Texas where he continues to work as a consultant for three major medical device companies. He currently resides in Austin, Texas.
- Michael E. Glasscock III sets his modern Western in Utopia, Texas (patrickkellystories.com)
- Review: The Trial of Dr. Kate by Michael Glasscock, III (churchbooklady.wordpress.com)