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By Gary L. Blackwood
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  • Author: Gary L. Blackwood
Times are hard in Pineville, Missouri. It is the Depression, and 13-year-old Thad and his mom are pretty much on their own. Still, Thad is generally satisfied. He doesn't need very much, and it helps that he expects even less. "There's nothing wrong with making wishes, as long as you don't expect them to necessarily come true." His friend, Willa, dreams of being an actress. His friend, Clem, hopes to play for the White Sox. Thad figures he'll do just fine as long as he has to answer only to himself -- and sometimes Momma. Roaming the Ozarks with his dog, catching fish or squirrels for supper, occasionally selling bootleg liquor....What more could he want? That is, until Harlan James comes to town with his nice clothes and fancy car, a proper rod and reel, and even his own twenty-two rifle. Suddenly Thad feels more confused than satisfied. In the past, when stretching the truth for one reason or another, he always kept a firm hold on the truth in his own mind. In this summer of discovery, Thad finds he doesn't even know the truth of his own feelings.