…a well-told true story is comfort food for the soul, and Davis’s book [Tales from a Free-Range Childhood] is nourishing.
Just in time for the official release date (tomorrow!), Donald Davis’s Tales from a Free-Range Childhood has been selected as a 2011 Spring Okra Pick from SIBA in the nonfiction category. The Okra Picks are a dozen fresh titles, or “great southern books, fresh off the vine,” chosen each season that SIBA Indie Bookstores want to handsell.
Donald Davis, considered to be the father of family tales, has been a nationally renowned storyteller for more than 20 years. And Tales from a Free-Range Childhood is “a seamless transition from oration to the written word,” according to ForeWord Reviews.
In his first new book in six years, Davis returns to recollections of growing up in the southern Appalachians and of his relationship with his sibling Joe. It’s a world without computers and cell phones, where children play in pastures and, unfortunately, cow pies. Among this collection of 20 stories, Davis spins family tales about a hobby called “annoying mommy,” how his mother was finally convinced to give his brother Joe’s naturally curly, “wasted-on-a-boy” hair its first cut, and how he and his cousin Andy got fired from their job of “watching the baby.” Booklist calls the book “sweetly good-natured and often quite funny…in the tradition of the late Jean Shepherd (A Christmas Story).”
Earlier this month we posted a Valentine’s Day story from the book. Today we’re offering a different excerpt: a hilarious tale called “Look It Up!” where Davis explains why 28 second-graders petitioned the school board to reestablish paddling as their preferred form of punishment, instead of the new policy of “suspension.” Enjoy!
Check back tomorrow for a Q&A session with Donald Davis himself!