“John Ames has written a splendid coming-of-age novel in the tradition of”J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. With the Hillsborough River as his trusted companion, the imaginative Danny plunges into adventures, some life-threatening, that force him to change, creating a narrative that is dark and delightful at the same time.”—Bill Maxwell, syndicated Tampa Bay Times correspondent, author of Maximum Insight “
Before Disney and far from the palm-lined Florida beaches, ten-year-old Danny Ryan is transplanted to a tiny community on the hyacinth-choked Hillsborough River outside Tampa, a place his older sister calls Nowhere. But for Danny and his best friend, the irrepressible Alfred Bagley, whose fondest desire is to grow up to be a junk dealer, Nowhere is where adventures lurk and lure them into more trouble than they can handle. More trouble is not what Danny needs as he copes with a family that includes a father sinking into schizophrenia; two sisters, one very ill and the other ready to run away with a shady boyfriend; and a mother trying her best to hold it all together. Yet Danny keeps his good humor, seeking escape on the nearby Hillsborough River or in the little community of Sulphur Springs.
But Danny’s adventures take a fateful turn when he begins seeing a mysteriously changing house across the hyacinth-choked Hillsborough. Is he going crazy like his father? With the help of a small band of quirky but faithful allies, Danny searches for and finds himself.
Adventures in Nowhere paints a compelling, imaginative, and often humorous vision of a time, a place, and a way of growing up, allowing a reader to live for a while in the mind of a remarkably thoughtful and intense boy caught at the final edge of childhood.
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