When a racially mixed family moves into an all-white neighborhood in East Hartford, Connecticut, in 1961, lives are altered forever. Karl Luntta’s Know It by Heart follows the adventures of young Dub Teed, his sister Susan and neighbor Doug Hammer, who befriend newly arrived Ricky Dubois, the daughter of an African-American woman and her white husband. When burning crosses appear at night-and worse-the young adolescents set out to find justice and discover themselves in the process.
Despite the book’s serious anti-racist theme, Know It by Heart is filled with humor reminiscent of Mark Twain. In this suspenseful novel, Karl Luntta brilliantly captures the world of the young adolescent in his characters and dialogue and in the innate comedy and awkwardness of that age. This is a book that will appeal to parents and teenagers alike.
“Non Stop Summer”
Five Star Review on Amazon by Mark Shapera
This is a great book for middle school and high school students. The narrator is an 11 year old who has one hell of a summer in 1961 in East Hartford Connecticut. In addition to a first crush on a girl, he has to confront the ugliness of racism in his neighborhood among his peers and the adults. The author throws in a few jokes that baby boomers will catch (about using a Sandy Koufax baseball card in bike spokes,for example)and accurately describes the 1961 mindset for nostalgia buffs. It should be used in the schools in civics classes and for book reports.
About the Author
Karl Luntta is an experienced Rough Guides author and writes regularly on St. Lucia for numerous publications. He is a newspaper columnist and has published fiction in International Quarterly, Baltimore Review, North Atlantic Review, and others. Natalie Folster is an experienced travel writer and journalist and regularly returns to St. Lucia.
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