From Troubadour21: Book review of Jean Elster's, Who's Jim Hines?
I had the opportunity to meet this author and receive a copy of her latest award winning book entitled, Who’s Jim Hines? This story takes place in Detroit, Michigan during the height of the Depression. Douglas Ford Junior is a twelve year old African American boy growing up in the diverse neighborhood of African Americans, and Polish immigrants.
This is a coming of age story for the young Douglas Ford; it’s about a boy who wants to be just like his father. It’s about a father wanting more for his son and his daughters. And how Douglas Ford Sr. goes to great lengths to provide that dream for his children.
What I took from this story is the lesson of perseverance and hard work. The lessons that took me back to my own childhood and the way I looked up to my own father. This story in a sense is universal to us all. Even though it takes place in the 1930’s depression era, I find a resemblance to my own life. It is a story to be read again and again. Each chapter brings the reader closer to this family; it provides a fantastic view of what it was like to be a child in that era. It shows us the devotion of family in spite of adversity and hard times.
The following is a a listing of accomplishments and awards as noted on Ms. Elster’s website.
“Who’s Jim Hines was selected as one of the Library of Michigan’s 2009 Michigan Notable Books. In addition, the Michigan Reading Association has placed it on the Great Lakes Great Books Award 2009-2010 ballot for grades 4-5. It was also a ForeWord Magazine 2008 Book of the Year Award Finalist in the category of Juvenile Fiction.”
Ms. Elster is also the author of the children’s book series “Joe Joe in the City,” published by Judson Press. The first volume in that series, Just Call Me Joe Joe, was released in October 2001 and is now in its second printing. The remaining volumes are: I Have a Dream, Too! (May, 2002), I’ll Fly My Own Plane (September, 2002), and I’ll Do the Right Thing (January, 2003). She was awarded the 2002 Governors’ Emerging Artist Award by Art Serve Michigan in recognition of the series. I’ll Do the Right Thing was awarded the 2004 Atlanta Daily World Atlanta Choice Award in the category of children’s books.
Who’s Jim Hines Is not only a Detroit jewel, but fast on its way to becoming a national one. It is a wonderful story and a great gift idea for the 8 to 12 year olds in your household.
For more information on how to receive a copy of this book, and Ms. Elster’s other collections; you can contact her at: www.jeanaliciaelster.com Troubadour21 is pleased to rate Jean Alicia Elster’s, Who’s Jim Hines? at 5 stars, and highly recommends this book to T21’s readers both young and old.