An American Summer by Frank Deford

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Synopsis

Set in the nostalgic year of 1955, this touching novel reveals a unique kind of love between kindred spirits. It is told through the voice of 14-year-old Christy Banister, a sweet, slightly naïve young boy in need of guidance as he makes his way through adolescence. He has moved to Baltimore with his father, and as the new kid on the block in an isolated new neighborhood, Christy has few opportunities to make new friends.

At the start of the summer, Christy meets 23-year-old Kathryn Slade. Once a beautiful young woman, Kathryn is now a quadriplegic after a battle with polio that nearly cost her life when she was 17. However, despite Kathryn’s physical limitations, she and Christy develop a strong and intimate friendship.

As Christy struggles to grow up, he must learn to deal with the problems that usually beset a much older boy as he also confronts issues of sex and familial betrayal. Yet the friendship, wisdom and vitality bestowed by Kathryn serves as a guiding light. At the same time, Christy helps to give Kathryn new joy and six weeks of hope. Their summer ends with the ultimate victory of lives lived and loved.

 

About Frank Deford

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Frank Deford is a sportswriter and sportscaster whose work appears in "Newsweek" and "Sports Illustrated". He is also a regular commentator on NPR and ESPN. He has published works of fiction, written movie screenplays and won an Emmy and a Cable Ace award. And he has served for over 10 years as the chairman emeritus of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
 
Published September 1, 2002 by Sourcebooks. 256 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Culled from almost 400 periodicals by series editor Stout and guest editor Deford (former editor of The National Sports Daily whose new novel, Love and Infamy, is reviewed above): a championship cup of essays on sports and sports figures on and off the field.

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Publishers Weekly

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Finally, if it proves nothing else, this volume reaffirms the excellence of the staff of Sports Illustrated ;

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Publishers Weekly

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They fulfill each other's needs as Kathryn requires a project to take her mind off her condition, while Christy desperately needs a friend and mentor.

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