Thursday, January 7, 2010
The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis
by Barbara O'Connor
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009
Everyday is the same in Fayette, South Carolina. Boring! Popeye is not looking forward to a summer of having nothing to do except learn the weekly vocabulary words his grandmother, Velma, gives him. To make it worse, it rains for a week straight so he can't even escape to the backyard. Then he discovers a shiny surprise stuck in the mud down the road from his house. A big shiny silver motor home tilted on the edge of the road, one tire hopelessly stuck in the mud. Popeye is stunned by this wonderful new thing in his life. It is covered with American flags, smiley faces, peace signs, lightning bolts and bumper stickers. The day got even better when he discovered a large family with a whole bunch of kids lived in the motor home. They invited him to join their Spit and Swear Club. Boy, did it feel good to do something naughty without Velma knowing a thing! Soon Elvis, the oldest boy, and Popeye were ditching the younger kids and trying to have a "small adventure" before the motor home was pulled from the mud sending Elvis' family on their way.
Barbara O'Connor has a way with words and characters. I could visualize all the people in this short little novel as if I were watching a movie. This is a nice and refreshing glimpse into the life of a young boy looking for just a little excitment in his life.