Raccoon Grasping painting by DJ Geribo

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt was another great find from our local swap shop. I had never heard of the book or the author but the write-up on the back cover was enough to peak my interest and the book looked like a quick read so I decided to give it a try and add it to my books read in 2014 list.

And I was not disappointed. First, I liked that the idea came to Ms Holt when she saw the fattest boy in the world at the state fair when she was young and that became the inspiration for writing this novel. Although there were a couple of stumbles (timing mostly such as it is today and in the next sentence it is 3 days later -transition could have been smoother) it wasn't enough to distract me from the theme of the book. Two boys befriend an obese boy who is a freakshow act come to town. His caretaker disappears for a couple of weeks and the boys, together with other residents of the small Texas town, feel obligated to care for the enormous boy who lives alone in a trailer. The real-life dramas in the form of abandonment, family values, hopes and dreams, death, new beginnings, and second chances fill the book with an engaging story from page one to the end.

I rate When Zachary Beaver Came to Town 4 out of 5 stars. ****

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