cover image To the Top of Greenfield Street

To the Top of Greenfield Street

Ryan Standley. Found My Heart, $18 (288p) ISBN 978-0-578-78606-3

This nostalgic coming-of-age tale centers gritty elements of memories past, following Eric Daniels, 15, as he moves to the small town of Freeport, Ill., in 1993 after his family’s Iowa house burns down. Told through a series of interconnected vignettes, Eric’s story is that of a white, bullied former fat kid trying to gain a new lease on life. When childhood friend Nate Garcia, whose house Eric is staying at, reveals the unseen aspects of Nate’s life in Freeport, such as breaking into neighbors’ homes, stealing and drinking beer, casual hook-ups, and toilet-papering the neighborhood, Eric begins to wonder if he really wants to remain friends. As local events and toxic personalities escalate beyond Eric’s control, he must make decisions about how to live out his summer. Though Eric’s narration occasionally feels stilted, readers will appreciate his characterization during emotionally rending moments. Exploring chosen family, shifting friendships, and milestones such as first jobs and first love, Standley crafts a vulnerable narrative that will resonate. Ages 13–up. (Self-published)