My Beatles Summer
In an idyllic Southern California suburb during the summer of 1964, a place and time of youthful innocence and wonder forever transformed by the Beatles’ invasion, the shocking realities of racial hatred, and a series of rape/murders that will rock readers to the core of their humanity.
Eleven-year-old Jimmy Nelson and his best friend Charlie Rickman are in love with Ellen Prescott, the new girl who has just moved onto their street. With only days remaining before the beginning of summer, Jimmy and Charlie must complete their year-end insect collection science project. While traipsing through the hills behind their house, Jimmy discovers the mutilated remains of a young girl buried amidst the forest’s decaying detritus.
With the entire community stunned and desperate to protect families from a murderer that has claimed at least three other young girls, the boys seek solace in their childhood, playing sports, war games in their “fort in the hills”, Dodger games on their transistors, neighborhood barbecues, evening hide-and-seek, fourth of July fireworks, and the music of the Beatles, a sound that carries them on flights of wild fancy and propels them into new sensations of puberty and their love of Ellen Prescott.
They cannot stop the real world from intruding. It drags the boys into the battles of racial injustice and the rape/murders that hang over their tranquil lives, until one day it takes them and the young girl they love.
Seventeen-year-old, Joey Rodriguez knew his baseball talent was his ticket out of the slums; but that was before … before he bullied that helpless kid and laughed about it, before he sought and got revenge against former friend, Jared Roberts, to teach him a lesson, and before he ran. His life suddenly out of control, Joey is pursued by the police and haunted by the weird new kid who claims to have the answers. Which way now, Joey?
In this stand-alone follow-up to the critically acclaimed bestseller, Mary’s Son, A Tale of Christmas, we find the kids grown into young adults and dealing with the pains, joys, and pressures of the teen years, each going in a different direction, with some going to the dark ways of the mean streets. As Easter approaches, the school’s new kid exhibits strengths and powers that will forever change those with whom he comes in contact.