The Pompey Hollow Book Club

( 4 )


"We would soon have the daring of a Huckleberry Finn. Kids born then grew up fast. We had to. We were born in 1941 - the Year of the Pearl Harbor attack - and by the time we were nine more than seventy million people had been killed worldwide. It was Dale Barber who named our club of valor. He stood up on the cemetery stone and announce - 'Ain't a mom in the county would stop us from going to a club meeting if we were called the Pompey Hollow Book Club.' Mary Crane suggested we ...
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The Pompey Hollow Book Club

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"We would soon have the daring of a Huckleberry Finn. Kids born then grew up fast. We had to. We were born in 1941 - the Year of the Pearl Harbor attack - and by the time we were nine more than seventy million people had been killed worldwide. It was Dale Barber who named our club of valor. He stood up on the cemetery stone and announce - 'Ain't a mom in the county would stop us from going to a club meeting if we were called the Pompey Hollow Book Club.' Mary Crane suggested we stop saying ain't. Mary was made president." JMA


A group of kids in rural upstate New York have a series of adventures in the years following World War II.

Young Jerry Antil has always been a city boy, so when he and his family-including his mother, his baker father Big Mike and his brothers Mike and Dick-move from the town of Cortland, N.Y., to the country in 1948, he knew he'd have to make some adjustments. Luckily Jerry, like others who grew up during World War II, is a resourceful kid who knows how to make the best of any situation. And thanks to his father, Jerry knows that if you pay attention there's plenty of adventure to be had no matter where you are. He and a group of likeminded kids form the Pompey Hollow Book Club, and before long they are finding excitement everywhere, whether they're looking for a group of thieves who have been breaking into local businesses or trying to save a gaggle of innocent poultry from a grisly end on the Thanksgiving table. Although structured as a series of discrete stories, the flow of the narrative feels more like a novel than a collection of short stories. The characters are well developed-especially the kids-and the prose is plain but competent. The humor is more goofy than witty, but it will be a hard-hearted reader who won't chuckle at least once. The novel occasionally comes across as a little saccharine, but it feels honest and heartfelt all the same. The most affecting passages describe Jerry's relationship with his extraordinary father, who instills in him a strong sense of decency, as well as a love for adventure. The author makes a compelling point by stressing the idea that growing up in wartime had a profound effect on the outlook and attitudes of the children, among other things allowing them to make the most of any situation.

A heartfelt story about growing up in the shadow of World War II.

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Editorial Reviews

Stuart Horwitz
“Mark Twain meets the Greatest Generation!The Pompey Hollow Book Club is the best kind of novel: charming, but with teeth. The narration exudes an experienced innocence with characters at once empathic and courageous. One might be tempted to call its setting a bygone era had this era not fashioned our world... this work moved me deeply.”
--Stuart Horwitz, Book Architecture
Ron Masak
"It's a wonderful read. It reads like a living NORMAN ROCKWELL painting."
-- Ron Masak, Actor (Murder She Wrote)
Ruta Lee
This is my dear, dear, long time friend, Jerome Mark Antil. Great read for all ages. Pick one up for Christmas or anytime gifts...and get one for yourself! xoxo Ruta!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780984718702
  • Publisher: Little York Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/2012
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerome Mark Antil
Jerome Mark Antil was born in Cortland, New York in 1941. The seventh child of a seventh son of a seventh son, Michael Charles Antil Sr., and Mary Rowe Holman Antil. He completed the first grade at the St. Mary's Catholic school in Cortland, New York when the family moved to Delphi Falls, New York where he lived until just after finishing his eleventh grade in high school. Jerome Mark Antil grew up with five brothers and two sisters. Mary Margaret; Dorothy Louise; Michael Charles, Jr.; Frederick Holman; Richard Francis; Paul Robert; and James Joseph. His blood grandmother, on his Mother's side, was Catherine Rowe-Bell, who lived with the family in Delphi Falls. Catherine's sister, Josephine and her husband, Frederick Holman adopted Jerome's Mother as a child when her father left and never returned. The family called their grandmother, Aunt Kate, but always knew she was their Grandmother. The family also adored, Bomma Jo and Bompa Fred for their caring, love and devotion of their Mom. Just before his senior year in high school the family moved from Delphi Falls, first to North Syracuse and then to Milwaukee as a result of a year his father had spent in a TB sanitarium, and subsequent failed businesses. He moved with his Mom and Dad and two of his brothers moved from Delphi Falls, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Jerome graduated from St. John's Cathedral in 1958 and went on to attend Xavier University in Cincinnati Ohio. His parents and younger brother James Joseph moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana where they remained.

His career has been "writing" and "marketing" in the business world. He wrote marketing plans, sales and training movies and commercials. He has lectured at Cornell University; The Johnson School; St. Edwards University; and Southern Methodist University. Jerome was inspired to begin the career he always wanted, at the behest of his daughter, Worley Antil Coco and has spent twelve years researching for several books he is now working on. A note from her now adorns his wall, "Start Writing - Be Happy!" Light hearted nostalgia about growing in the 1940s. In his writing room he has the framed pages of his daughter's handwriting listing forty two subject lines of her favorite bedtime stories she was told by him.

A promise made by him to his daughter, was that his first book would be a book to help divorced fathers cope, and have the same quality times with their children as she shared with him.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 2 of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 14, 2011

    Childhood experiences with several twists! Sit back and enjoy...

    Picture a time when you ran freely through life expanding on your thoughts, livelihood, and intuition; it¿s called ¿Your childhood.¿ Jerome¿s depiction of life in Delphi Falls allows for his readers to be submersed in ever-evolving childhood capers. This book keeps the readers senses in full swing ¿ it¿s a must read for all ages!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 2 of 3 Customer Reviews

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