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RASCAL – “Not What You’d Expect”

October 30, 2011

Rascal  by Sterling North

Puffin Books,1991

194 pages, $5.99 (soft cover)

I’ve had this book on my shelf for two years, and didn’t read it. Perhaps, because it had been a Disney film or because Wikipedia described it as about a young boy whose mother had died—his father a hopeless dreamer—who becomes best friends with a pet raccoon, Rascal, until “one day the boy realizes things must change…”

Not that the description is wrong, but it the maudlin situation is buried in the subtext of this little masterpiece which is awash in recounting the childhood we all share and Wisconsin small-town life no one has ever come this close to capturing.

We often argue about regional writing, or writing of place, but such questions fly like a scattering of crows when you experience real things. This isn’t a book for kids, parents, Wisconsinites or adults. It is a book that grabs everyone and won’t let go until that final canoe ride. Sterling, these tears are for you. You were a great writer who shows us what great writing is all about.

Order this book directly from Amazon for $5.99. Click: Rascal (PMC) (Puffin Modern Classics)

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