I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann-Moren is about Jason Lee Rainey, a white boy in Hadlee, Mississippi. He befriends Samson, a black boy, and even when their friendship is tested, it is proved to be lifelong.
Jason Lee lives with his mother and Uncle Mooks, who is a little “off” from his time in the Vietnam War. He has never met his father, who was killed while in Vietnam. But as he grows up, Jason Lee finds out that his father was an amazing man, a fighter for equal rights among all races, who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr.
Will Jason Lee be able to grow up into the man he wishes to be, a man like his father, brave and willing to stand up for what is right?
The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann-Moren is a book that touches on a lot of tough topics.
- Racism – The main character, Jason Lee Rainey, is a young white boy who immediately befriends (and becomes lifelong friends with) Samson Johnson. They battle some ignorance with their friendship, but it holds strong for many years.
- Vietnam War – Jason Lee Rainey’s father was killed during the Vietnam War, leaving Jason Lee without much knowledge of his dad. He does have his mom’s brother, Uncle Mooks, who was also in the war, but due to some circumstances that become clear only later in the story, he went to war, and came back unable to care for himself.
- Addiction – Without giving too much away, there was a pill addiction problem in the novel for a short period of time
- Language – I’m not a prude, and some of the language was definitely necessary to prove a point, but I just didn’t think all of it was
- Underage drinking – I don’t have a problem reading about underage drinking, but in one scene in the book, after doing all of that drinking, the teenagers got in a car and drove. Yikes! That part just made me cringe.
I enjoyed this book, and love that Nancy Klann-Moren wasn’t afraid to talk about some tough topics, integrated into this coming of age story.
Ok, now for some bragging: The Clock of Life is being used in a school classroom, which is just so cool! And it was a finalist in the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards!
What do you think about books with controversial topics?