Little Joe, Book One of Round Rock Series by Michael E. Glasscock III

Little Joe Cover, book written by Michael Glasscock IIISynopsis: 

When Little Joe Stout survives the car accident that took his parents’ lives, he is sent to live with his maternal grandparents in the small town of Round Rock, Tennessee. Orphaned and missing his Texas home, Little Joe is reluctant to adapt. But his grandparents, especially his grandmother, are up to the challenge of raising him despite their own struggles. Soon, childhood friendships are forged in the oddball duo of Sugar and Bobby, and—with the help of a new canine companion—Little Joe begins to see that his new home offers the comfort and love he thought was lost forever.

Set against the drama of World War II and the first sparks of the civil rights movement, Little Joe’s new home is a microcosm of America in the 1940s. A frightening incident with a Chinese motorist traveling on the wrong side of town, the migration of troops across the countryside, and a frank discussion of Jim Crow laws are just a few of the local events mirroring the radio broadcasts that bring the news of the day into his grandmother’s kitchen.

Little Joe begins a four-part series from Michael E. Glasscock III that explores the intricate social cloth of Round Rock, Tennessee.

(Cover image and synopsis via Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Recently I selected Little Joe by Michael E. Glasscock III from my To Be Read pile looking for a charming story, hopefully intriguing characters, and a lighter tale than I have read lately. When I selected Little Joe, I realized it was Book One of a Four-Part Series. Reading Little Joe hasn’t charged me with the will to read Book Two.

Growing up in Nashville, TN, which is near the region Glasscock uses as his central geographic point, I was impressed with the accuracy of his descriptions of Hwy. 70, the impact of fog along its narrow lanes and shoulders, and the intensity of rain storms and the amount of water drenching highways.

The depicted region is captured well so I anticipated good character development and an emotional read based on this nine-year old boy’s sudden transition from his parents to his grandparents. Not having had grandparents who were still alive when I was born, I always enjoy a book with beautiful grandchildren/grandparent relationships.

Nothing could be farther from the situation in Little Joe. Although his grandmother is a strong Christian woman and is quite pleasant to those among her community who are African-American, she is quite bigoted when it comes to Catholics. I waited for the author to tell me why, but he never expanded on this. Perhaps it will come in Book Two.

Under the circumstances of his parents’ sudden death, I expected a softer heart from the grandmother and not such harsh judgments and punishments. I did not like her character at all.

During a time when emotion could have filled paragraphs and perhaps pages, it was sadly lacking. I did not feel that Little Joe was given an opportunity to grieve for his parents as a child should and likely would have, nor did I get the sense that, other than with his two young friends, was he allowed to be a boy child.

All in all, I was sorely disappointed with this book and have a difficult time recommending it to anyone else to read. If I were in the habit of assigning ratings to book in my reviews, Little Joe receives 2 stars.

* * *

Meet the Author:

Glasscock, Michael E III, AuthorFor the first eight years of his life Michael E. Glasscock III lived on his grandfather’s cattle ranch a few miles south of the small community of Utopia, Texas. At the beginning of World War II, he moved to a small town in Tennessee not unlike the mythical Round Rock portrayed in his fiction series. Michael decided to study medicine, and he graduated from the University of Tennessee Medical School at age twenty-four.

Nashville, Tennessee, was the site of his otology/neurotology practice, where he was associated with Vanderbilt University as a clinical professor, and where he continues to be part of the faculty as an adjunct professor. He retired from full-time clinical practice in 1997 and moved back to Texas where he continues to work as a consultant for three major medical device companies. He currently resides in Austin, Texas.

(Image and bio via Amazon)

* * *

DETAILS ABOUT THE BOOK | DISCLAIMER:

  • Series: Round Rock (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608325660
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608325665

I received a copy of Little Joe from Greenleaf Book Group Press via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

4 thoughts on “Little Joe, Book One of Round Rock Series by Michael E. Glasscock III

  1. kimbacaffeinate February 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm Reply

    When I read the synopsis I fully expected a touching coming of age and I am so sorry this didn’t reach its potential. While religious persecution was common place in this era, I am surprised it wasn’t elaborated on. Thanks for the honest review 🙂

    Like

    • Sherrey Meyer February 7, 2014 at 11:51 am Reply

      I felt the same about the synopsis and was so ready for a charming coming of age story. After posting my review here and on other sites, I read some other reviews. There were some who willing to give 4 and 5 stars, but also some who joined me at the 2-star level for similar reasons. I have deleted both this book and then next in the series from my Kindle. Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  2. Joan February 5, 2014 at 4:13 pm Reply

    The story line sounded so promising. Too bad the writing didn’t follow through. Thanks for giving a honest review, Sherrey!

    Like

    • Sherrey Meyer February 7, 2014 at 11:52 am Reply

      This was definitely an unfortunate review to have to provide, but I believe in honesty through and through. Often if a book is really bad, I don’t post a review but this one I felt showed some writing failures on the part of the author. A good lesson for the rest of us who write.

      Like

And what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: