For a young boy growing up in the projects of Connecticut, life can be pretty difficult. For soon to be ten year old Reeve McClain, Jr., it is like living in Never Land. Everyone is angry, fighting, abusing drugs and alcohol, and using weapons. It seems like the only option in a neighborhood that doesn’t nurture the dreams of children. Despite this, Reeve (best known as Junebug) holds on to his dream of sailing a boat with every fiber of his being. Through everything–losing a big brother figure, looking after his little sister, and handling an aunt who lacks family loyalty–Junebug focuses on a special act on birthday that he hopes will turn his dreams into reality.
Junebug is a very captivating read. I found my heart truly aching for everything this boy had to endure when he should be afforded the opportunity to just be a child. The biggest lesson that readers can take away from this book is that it is always appropriate to be true to yourself and resist negative peer pressure. A dream and determination is often all you need to get out of trying situations.
Written by: Alice Mead
Age Range: 8-12 years old