In Jim the Boy, which was written prior to The Blue Star (also
reviewed on Myshelf), Tony
Earley starts the story of Jim, when Jim is about 10 year old. Earley gives us the same
sense of time and place that we found in The Blue Star, but the actions in Jim
the Boy are of a time more simple than those found in the sequel, which covered events
of Jimís life seven years later.
Earley's statement that he wrote a children's book for adults is more applicable to
this novel than his later one. In this age of graphic language, it is a rare treat and
credit to the author that no overt violence or sex is found in the book.
Again, the plot is a simple one. The novel tells the story of a young man coming of age
in a very remote and peaceful North Carolina town. There is nothing astonishing about the
actions and descriptions found in the novel, unless we look back and think, "Yes the times
and events were wonderful but we failed to recognize it."
One strength of this book is how it deals with childhood events and yet does not become
childish. Few readers will be offended by the descriptions and dialogue found in this
wonderful story of a boy who lived in a more peaceful and calmer time.