"Stanley James" by Clyde Henry; 978-1-4363-6145-3; Pages: 244; $15.99; Publication Date: November, 2008; Paperback; Fiction; Published by Xlibris Corporation.
Children are raised with the hope and expectation their lives will be better than their parent's. School is a reverent place in children's lives, and their experiences are supposed to be entertaining and educational, teaching them the "Golden Rule."
"Stanley James" is a novel which does not follow this path. It is the story of a young boy who has learning disabilities, and Clyde Henry tells this tale from an inside view. Even though this is a novel, "Stanley James" is based upon the true story of the author's cousin.
Coming from an era of the 1950s and '60s, it is a wonderful first novel by Henry based on first-hand knowledge gleaned from attending St. Mary's Catholic School in Alexandria, Minn., where he matriculated as learning disabled.
He was a student who had been misdiagnosed and was not able to keep up with regular school children. Yet, with all his supposed disabilities, he graduated college magna cum laude, and also obtained a masters degree in Architecture from The Ohio State University.
His cousin was not as fortunate in his career path and this is the crux of the story. Humorous at first, we explore some funny tribulations which befall both boys as they meander through their younger years.
Stanley James comes up with some concrete thinking which is far beyond his years and abilities which make you want to read on and enjoy the rich laughter which is engendered by this lad.
This is not a barn-burner novel. However, it is one which will anger you at the treatment given to youngsters in our society by those who are charged with the responsibility to care for them. By the time you turn the last page, you will realize that some institutions are in need of reformation.
When you ask if the situations described are still going on, your answer will be found in the daily newspaper. Yes, the situations go on, and Clyde Henry means to do something about it.
There is a foundation which receives the proceeds from book sales. The Web site is www.stanleyjames.org. By buying this book, you will contribute to those needy children who are described.
There are many books which discuss problems and our need for reformation, but few seem to put their hard capital into constructive change.
Buying this book is a good read and is for a good cause.
Week of June 22
1. Relentless; Dean Koontz; Bantam; $27; 978-0-553-80714-1.
2. Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Deception; Eric Van Lustbader; Grand Central; $27.99; 978-0-446-53982-1.
3. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane; Katherine S. Howe; Voice; $25.99; 978-1-4013-4090-2.
4. The Scarecrow; Michael Connelly; Little, Brown; $27.99; 978-0-316-16630-0.
5. Skin Trade. Laurell K. Hamilton; Berkley; $26.95; 978-0-425-22772-5.
1. Liberty and Tyranny; Mark Levin; Threshold Editions; $25; 9781416562856.
2. The Horse Soldiers; Doug Stanton; Scribner; $25.95; 978-1-416-58051-5.
3. Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man; Steve Harvey; Amistad; $23.99; 978-0-06-172897-6.
4. Divine Soul Songs; Zhi Gang Sha; Atria; $26.95; 978-1-4391-2965-4.
5. Outliers; Malcolm Gladwell; Little, Brown; $27.99; 9780316017923.
Are there any books you would like reviewed? This column will find those which are of special interest for your reading pleasure.
Visit Clark Isaacs at http://clarkisaacs.ning.com and tell him what you would like to have him write about. There's also a book swap there.