FeaturedYoung Adult

To the Top of Greenfield Street

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Loved it! 😍

Compelling and heartwarming, To the Top of Greenfield Street is an excellent portrayal of the myriad layers of midwest American life.

Life is not easy for fifteen-year-old Eric. He is in high school, his mother left him and his father when he was young, and he is painfully self-conscious about his weight and how others perceive him. However, things get worse for Eric when his dad’s pizza shop burns down—and their house goes along with it. Forced to pick up what is left of their lives, Eric and his dad move in with family friends on Greenfield Street, where Eric spends a transformational summer learning about friendship, family, girls, hard work, and how to love himself. Set squarely in reality, this book does little to sugarcoat the challenges of rural, mid-American life. Written in a colloquial style, raw emotions are felt throughout the narrative, which flows smoothly from beginning to end. The chapters are short, each one focusing on a particular moment in Eric’s summer; this series of vignettes builds a web of stories that connect easily and wrap up nicely. Though each challenge seems more difficult than the last, Eric does not give in to the adversity; instead, he learns to push through it, becoming a stronger, more composed character by the end of the book. Readers who enjoy stories about real life and embracing oneself will appreciate the honest way that Eric’s story is told. A host of diverse characters come into Eric’s life as the summer progresses, each one unique and likable even with their flaws on display. Nobody is perfect; even though lies and aggression abound, redemption is an equally pervasive theme in this book. Strong language, broken families, racism, classism, violence, and sex are all essential to the unfolding of this story. This book is best suited to older teen readers, especially those who are more comfortable with harsh language and intense plot points. Compelling and heartwarming, To the Top of Greenfield Street is an excellent portrayal of the myriad layers of midwest American life.

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My career has focused on children’s literature, primarily, but I have a love for YA books, too. I began reviewing books in 2015, since which time I have had over 500 published reviews!

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About the author

Ryan Standley graduated from the University of Iowa, spent some great years in northern California, then started writing for newspapers in Chicago, and now lives near Boston, Massachusetts, with wife, two kids, and a big fluffy dog. To the Top of Greenfield Street is his debut novel. view profile

Published on August 20, 2020

70000 words

Genre: Young Adult

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