Published June 2013 by Greenleaf Book Group|Pages: 184
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Little Joe is an e-ARC from netgalley.com which has not influenced my review in anyway
Goodreads Summary: 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 liked Little Joe. I don’t normally read historical fiction set in World War 2, but I enjoyed it more than I expected.
I loved seeing Joe’s relationship with his grandparents, and if there’s something I love, it’s a book where there’s a grandparent-grandchild relationship. They all had to adjust to their new life: Joe, who now has to live on a farm, in a world different than the one he’s known, and his grandparents, who lost their daughter and are now raising their grandson.
The book felt like it set during the 1940’s and all of the details felt right- but knowing very little about what life was like on a farm during World War II, I have no problem admitting that I don’t know enough to say for sure what’s accurate and what’s not.
I also liked how Joe found friends and slowly adjusted to life in Round Rock. It seems like there’s an assortment of characters, and I really wish we saw more of them. We certain got a good glimpse of Round Rock, and it wasn’t until the end that I realized I was reading the first book in a series. Which explains why Little Joe is shorter than I was expecting and why it felt like there was more to the story.
I thought Glasscock did a great job with showing Joe’s perspective on things. Even though he didn’t delve too deep into things like racism, I still thought Glasscock did a great job with showing what Joe and his friends thought of what was going on around them. We got a good glimpse of what life was like for Joe in the context of everything going on in the 1940’s and how life can change while still realizing that there are people who care about us. Glasscock did a good job at introducing us to this world and the people that live in it, but I also wish there was a little more to the book. I’m not quite sure what, but it really was a bit too short.
I liked Little Joe, especially the relationship he had with his grandparents. It’s a sweet story, and I wish it were a little longer. I’m looking forward to reading the other books to see how Joe’s story unfolds. Little Joe gets 3 stars.